Tonya Colombo, who lost her son Shane to gang crossfire, speaks at a press conference. Credit: Jonathan Ballew/Block Club Chicago

ROGERS PARK — Shane Colombo had only been in Chicago for six hours when he was shot and killed by a stray bullet at the Rogers Park/Evanston border.

Nearly six months have passed since the incoming Northwestern University PhD student died on his first night in Chicago, but no arrests have been made despite his killers’ images being caught on several different security cameras.

On Friday, the 25-year-old’s mother, Tonya Colombo, flew in from California to highlight the Sept. 2 murder, plea for information from the public and announce that the reward for help is now up to $12,000.

Shane Colombo was shot dead near the Chicago-Evanston border, officials said. Credit: Google Maps/Facebook

An anonymous donor gave $10,000. Tonya Colombo and community activist Andrew Holmes both contributed $1,000.

At a Friday press conference to publicize the reward, Tonya Colombo said “the pain of losing a child is indescribable.

“Whatever we have to do to catch these individuals, we are planning on doing.”

Shane Colombo, a California native, was out running errands when he was shot dead in gang crossfire.

“Shane never had a chance in this city,” she said. “And I would like to find the people responsible.”

Tonya Colombo thanked the donor who gave $10,000 for the reward, saying “I hope they see this.”

Holmes, who has lost family members of his own to gun violence, started the press conference with a plea to the families of the offenders to come forward with information.

“Turn your relatives in,” he said multiple times.

Vincent Perez, Colombo’s fiancé, also attended Friday. He called the loss of his partner “surreal.”

“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” he said. “He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Perez said Colombo’s death was no isolated incident and that it is important to remember that “violence in Chicago is systemic.” He expressed empathy towards people who “lack the resources and support” that lead them to commit crimes.

Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said the loss of Colombo was felt by the entire community, noting how hundreds of people came out to a vigil at the site of the murder near Howard and Clark streets.

“We’re not going to stop,” he said. “We are going to keep working. We can get this done.”

Ald. Ann Rainey, from Evanston’s 8th ward, said that the community lost a “brilliant scholar.” She urged anyone with information to come forward.

“Not only will you be doing the world a favor, you will be $12,000 richer,” she said.

Meanwhile, another high profile Rogers Park case also remains unsolved. In October, a masked killer gunned down two men within two days of each other just blocks apart near Loyola Park. Chicago Police assigned 40 detectives to the case and offered a $150,000 reward for information — the largest reward in city history. But the killer has yet to be caught.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact either the Chicago or Evanston police. Tips can also be called in to 1-800-883-5587. All calls are confidential. Twitter @JCB_Journo

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