‘He was the light of the room:’ Fox News analyst reflects on brother’s life after fatal shooting

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An old picture shows Gianno Caldwell’s youngest brother, Christian, in a bright orange shirt, laughing after taking his Field Museum nametag off his shirt and putting it on his head.

“He was always this silly kid,” Gianno Caldwell told the Tribune. “He just wanted to make people laugh.”

Caldwell, a Fox News analyst, took to social media to share the news that his 18-year-old brother, Christian Beamons, had been shot and killed in Morgan Park on the South Side early Friday.

“Yesterday was legitimately the worst day of my existence,” Caldwell wrote on his social media platforms Saturday. “After all the things my family has been through never could I have imagined my baby brother’s life would be stolen from him.”

According to police, Beamons and another man and woman were outside in a group when a man shot at them and then got into a black sedan to flee the scene, heading east.

Police were called to the 11400 block of South Vincennes Avenue on Friday shortly after 2 a.m. where they found Beamons had suffered a gunshot wound to the torso, according to an online statement. Paramedics rushed him to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 2:46 a.m.

The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, and the death was determined to be a homicide.

During a balloon release Monday with approximately 60 family members and friends, Caldwell said, pretty much everyone shared the same thing:

“He was the light of the room, always good energy,” he said. “If you’d be down, he’d tell a joke. He was a jokester.”

Beamons was starting to look at colleges to go to in Illinois. Caldwell said he was trying to convince his younger brother to consider out-of-state options.

“For all of my siblings, I tell them, get out of the city as fast as you can,” Caldwell said.

The other victims in the shooting, a 25-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man, suffered gunshot wounds to the leg and torso, respectively. They were also taken to Christ Medical Center. The woman was listed in fair condition while the man was in critical condition. No arrests have been made and police are investigating.

Caldwell has urged anyone with information to contact the police and, if they don’t feel comfortable doing so, he asks them to reach out to him over social media.

He said he is also working with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives to hopefully solve the case and, from a policy standpoint, he’ll be meeting with elected officials to figure out an approach to crime in the city.

“Folks have become so numb to the tragedies of violence in general, especially gun violence,” Caldwell said, “that it just almost feels like an expectation that one day your number is gonna come up and you won’t be living or you will at least be shot.”

He said two summers ago, Beamons called him, crying.

“What’s wrong, Christian?” Caldwell recalled asking his younger brother.

“I need to get out of Chicago,” Beamons had responded.

“Why?”

“Because I feel like I’m gonna get killed here,” Beamons had said.

“Why would you say that? Is someone after you?” Caldwell had asked.

“No one’s after me, but everyone I know is dying.”

adperez@chicagotribune.com