Charles Hobson, Sr. worked hard for decades to enjoy a good life and provide for his family, but that life of 86 years was stolen in an instant back in late September, and now police have made two arrests in connection with his murder: a 15-year-old and 16-year-old who allegedly shot Hobson in order to steal his car.
According to police, surveillance video from the scene shows two individuals walking up to Hobson before one of them shoots him in the leg. Hobson collapsed on the ground, and one of the suspects picked something up from the ground before the pair walked away. When police arrived after a report of shots fired, they found the 86-year-old unconscious, and he passed away about an hour after arriving at a local hospital. The two suspects, meanwhile, apparently got away in Hobson’s pride and joy; a new Lincoln Nautilus SUV.
Hobson Sr. drove Lincoln model vehicles for as long as his son could remember and had recently traded his 30-year-old Lincoln Continental for a 2023 upgrade, Charles Hobson Jr. said.
Hobson Sr. grew up in the Garfield Park neighborhood and was an entrepreneur who had various businesses, including two shoe stores on 47th Street in the 1960s, according to his son. He retired from entrepreneurship “about 10 to 15 years ago,” his son said.
Heartbreaking incidents like this are nothing new in Chicago, unfortunately. It was crimes like this that prompted Otis McDonald to challenge the city’s ban on handguns after the Supreme Court struck down a similar ban in Washington, D.C. in 2008. McDonald wanted to be able to protect himself from the armed criminals who paid no attention to the city’s gun control laws, and was successful in doing so. His victory before the Supreme Court in 2010 not only wiped the handgun ban from the city’s statutes, but was instrumental in the state of Illinois reluctantly adopting a “shall issue” carry law a few years later after the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the statewide prohibition on open or concealed carry violated the Second Amendment.
Otis McDonald passed away after a long illness in 2014 at the age of 80. He was just a few years older than Charles Hobson, Sr., and I couldn’t help but think of him and his story when I learned about the senseless and tragic killing of the octogenarian. I don’t know how Hobson felt about the Second Amendment or if he ever thought about carrying a firearm himself, but I can’t help but wonder if the individuals who robbed him of his car keys and his family of their patriarch were emboldened to attack someone they believed to be a defenseless and helpless old man.
Like several other cities, including our nation’s capitol, juvenile crime is on the rise in Chicago. According to the Chicago Crime Lab, about 49% of those arrested and charged with carjackings in the city since 2019 have been teens younger than 17. The same week that the 15-and-16-year-olds were arrested and charged with Hobson’s murder, police also took a 13-year-old girl into custody for carjacking along with an adult accomplice.
The 44-year-old victim was on her way to work after dining at Ricky’s Pancake House, 2948 East 83rd, when a white Hyundai blocked her in as she pulled out of the parking lot around 9:30 a.m., officials said.
Two people, the 13-year-old and 19-year-old Jamia Little, jumped out of the Hyundai and ran to the victim’s driver’s door, according to prosecutors.
“Get out, b***h!” the duo demanded as the girl brandished a knife. The driver complied.
Little allegedly climbed behind the wheel and drove away the 13-year-old in the victim’s Kia Stinger. A nearby gas station’s security camera recorded it all.
About a half-hour later, Chicago police officers arrested Little and the girl after spotting them near the hijacked Kia in an alley behind the 7500 block of South Yates. Prosecutors said security footage showed Little and the girl stopping the car in the alley and getting out to remove its license plates.
I won’t pretend that a concealed carry license automatically immunizes you from being the target of violent criminals. In fact, when police arrested Little they found her in possession of both the victim’s driver’s license and her concealed handgun permit. Authorities haven’t said if the victim was actually carrying at the time, but even if she had her gun with her she might not have had the opportunity to use it in self-defense, and she may even have had second thoughts about doing so based on the age of her attacker.
Concealed carry may not be a cure-all, but it at least gives you the option to defend your life if given the opportunity. It’s something more Chicagoans need to embrace, especially with the city’s broken criminal and juvenile justice systems in dire need of repairs that aren’t likely to be made in the near future.