BY SUSAN DU
Homicide Watch Chicago
When 8-year-old Lavelle Martin found his father stabbed in their Chicago Lawn home he tried to save his life by applying pressure with a towel to the bleeding chest wound as puddles of blood formed on the floor.
Despite Lavelle’s efforts, Larry Martin was declared dead at 7:46 p.m. Wednesday night at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
“His last words was to me,” Lavelle said. “He said, ‘I’m gonna die, but I love you.’”
Martin, 28, was stabbed about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday at his home in the 6800 block of South Talman Avenue, authorities said. A bleeding Martin tried to follow his attacker into the street, but fell down the stairs, Lavelle said.
A dying Martin begged Lavelle for water and complained of difficulties breathing, the boy said.
Earlier that day, Martin played with Lavelle in the park and took him shopping at the mall, family said.
“On Easter, we went to church together. We’d go fishing together, we went to the mall together, we got our haircuts together,” Lavelle said.
When Martin wasn’t with Lavelle, he was spending time with friends, his cousin Valencia Jenkins said. Martin enjoyed club hopping even though he wasn’t a great dancer, she said.
“He was caring, considerate, always trying to steer people in the right direction,” Jenkins said. “He treated everybody like they were his own, took up a lot of responsibility. He was raised on strict morals and values. He was a fun-loving guy.”
Martin grew up on the South Side and attended Harlan High School before moving to the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, and relatives gathered at his mother Angela Jenkins’ nearby home Thursday.
Martin recently found temporary work unloading trucks in a warehouse after years of working at McDonald’s, family said. Lavelle said his dad’s dream was to open a restaurant where he could cook his own recipes.
Angela Jenkins said Martin struggled as a single father, but never cut corners when raising Lavelle.
“There wasn’t a day [of school] that Lavelle missed because my son couldn’t get up,” Angela Jenkins said. “He got up, got him dressed, told him what to put on. They walked to school. That was all he knew, his kids.”
Angela Jenkins said she is going to care for Lavelle and get herself the boy counseling as the family waits for police to capture the killer.
Relatives said Martin knew his attacker. Police said the attacker is not in custody Thursday evening.