Victim's Family Prepares For Boy's Funeral

By WEEK Producer

August 12, 2011 Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 10:18 PM CDT

Peoria police are asking the public for help in finding the suspects in Thursday's fatal shooting of an 8 year old boy.

Police believe the drive by shooting of Albert Billups-Wilson could be linked to several other shootings over the past year.

In the meantime friends and family members are trying to cope with the boy's untimely death.

Albert Billups said he recently took his son Albert to pick up school supplies.

His eight year old son was about to begin third grade at Glen Oak Learning Center.

"He was ready to go back to school. Dad you gonna walk me to school like you use to? Yeah, I got you. I miss my baby," said Albert's father Albert Billups.

Unfortunately young Albert will not get that opportunity.

Family members now have the difficult task of preparing for the child's funeral.

Thursday morning gunmen fired several bullets into the East Behrends Avenue home killing the little boy as he slept in an upstairs bedroom.

His father says he's not sure why bullets sprayed the home.

Four adults including the child's mother Latesha Wilson and two children were not injured.

Billups said his son loved to go to the Boys and Girls Club not too far from his home.

Program Coordinator Amy Sickinger said Billups-Wilson and his cousins were fun loving kids who participated in day camp.

"I just wish there was more we could have done and I know that's how his family feels too," said Sickinger. "Albert was a really sweet kid. Everybody did all they could to keep him safe and happy and for this unexpected, unpredictable thing to happen to him it's really hard."

Sickinger said day camp children made pictures and wrote messages to Albert that were taken to three locations, including his mother's home, where a memorial is set up on the front porch.

The elder Billups said he just hopes police find the gunmen.

"Whoever did it I hope you'll turn yourself in. Whoever did it please turn yourself in," pleaded Billups.

The father said the family does not have insurance.

TW Parks Memorial Chapel is handling the funeral arrangements.

Anyone interested in helping with expenses should call the funeral home at 674-6323 for instructions.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.