CHICAGO — Santa made a surprise visit to the home of the pregnant girlfriend and infant son of Jemel Roberson Sunday in Englewood.
It’s been a long six weeks for Avontea Boose since a Midlothian police officer shot and killed 26-year-old Jemel Roberson at Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, IL November 11.
"I’m shocked, surprised and thankful," Avontea Boose said.
Roberson worked security at the bar, and was subduing a gunman in the parking lot when a Midlothian officer arriving on the scene shot and killed him. The officer remains on paid administrative leave while Illinois State Police continue their investigation. Federal civil lawsuits are now filed against Midlothain on behalf of Roberson’s children.
That includes young Tristian and his unborn sibling, who is due in June.
"The first Christmas without Jemel, it’s just crazy," Boose said. "It’s sad because Tristan won’t see his dad for his first Christmas."
A local towing company provided a ride for Santa, and pitched in to buy gifts for the family.
"For these kids to lose their father because of a senseless tragedy, it saddened my heart," said Early Walker, W&W Towing. "It was just a blessing to be in a position to come out here, and you know, just give from the bottom of my heart."
While their hearts are heavy, they're buoyed up in part by the generosity of the community.
"This is amazing, I appreciate it," Boose said.