As a kid, Macksantino Webb’s family moved him from Englewood to Rogers Park so he would be away from the rampant violence on Chicago’s South Side. This month, a judge sentenced a man to more than 26 years in prison for murdering him inside the Howard CTA station.
Six years ago, on August 27, 2016, the Sun-Times profiled Webb and told the story of his family’s decision to get him out of harm’s way.
The headline read: Aim for 3 South Side teenagers: ‘Just trying to survive a summer’
“My great-nephews started coming [to the North Side] about five years ago,” Rev. Zollie Webb of Evanston’s Friendship Baptist Church said in the profile.
Suffering a little homesickness, Macksantino and his cousin, Ernest, went back to Englewood one weekend and had a harrowing experience.
“Somebody just got to shooting out of nowhere… We’re taking cover under some bricks,” Macksantio told the paper. “Police came, like, 10 seconds later. Ernest had been shot in the head.”
More than three years later, just after noon on December 3, 2019, Webb was murdered inside the Howard CTA station.
Prosecutors said Webb was with his girlfriend when he saw a group of men he recognized, including Keith Gross, now 33. The group surrounded Webb, who tried to run away. Gross shot him twice in the back as he did.
Webb made it up to the platform, then collapsed.
CTA surveillance cameras recorded the murder and also showed Gross running away with a gun, according to prosecutors. He allegedly told investigators that he bought the gun four days before the murder from a “Mexican dude” and then threw it into a sewer in Evanston after the slaying.
“I’m really sick and tired of having to bury young people too soon,” Rev. Webb said after the murder. “This is not the first nephew I’ve lost via gun violence. I’m just simply tired.”
Gross was on parole after serving half of a 14-year home invasion sentence at the time. He was also charged with murder in 2010 but was only convicted of a gun violation. He received a two-year sentence.
On August 11, Gross pleaded guilty to murder. Judge Ursula Walowski sentenced him to 26½ years. He is scheduled to be released on May 18, 2046.