Twin babies due early next year will never know their father, who was killed in July when someone opened fire on a Gary home he was visiting.
Tomi Curry’s mother wants to know why.
Curry, 23, of Steger, was an active U.S. Army reservist, a loving son and the oldest of seven siblings, mother Ericka Stuckey said.
“He was the light in the room,” she said. “He was protective. He was outspoken. He was caring. Everybody knew him.
“From childhood, he was that kid that was going to keep in touch with everybody.”
Curry was playing video games at a relative’s home in the 800 block of Ohio Street about 10:15 p.m. July 27 when five or more shots were fired into the home from outside, Gary police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said.
When officers arrived, a man waved them inside. Curry was lying wounded on the floor, he said.
Curry was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus, where he was pronounced dead.
There were a number of young people inside the home. Police don’t think Curry was the intended target, Hamady said.
Investigators haven’t been able to gather much information about the shooting and need the community’s help, he said.
Stuckey has raised a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in Curry’s homicide, police said.
Stuckey said her son cared about other people’s emotions. He was the type of kid who often said, “I love you, Mom,” she said.
If she doesn’t work to find out who killed him, “then that’s where I feel we have failed him the most,” she said.
Stuckey said she’s still in shock, but she feels a great disappointment because she could not be with him in his final moments.
She was 19 years old when he was born, she said.
She was there for everything in his life. He loved sports, but he excelled at baseball.
She was there when he graduated from high school and when he left for basic training in 2016.
But a sense of failure fell upon her when she wasn’t able to be by his side as he lay dying.
“I wasn’t able to let him know I was there for him,” she said.
She and Curry’s stepfather, who was in his life from a young age, raised Curry and his siblings to be of service to their community.
“We try so hard to make sure they get it,” she said. “To make sure they learn not to put themselves in harmful situations.”
It hurts that her son’s life was taken while he was engaged in an innocent activity like playing Xbox, she said.
Curry used his military training to teach his relative in Gary how to respond when gunshots were fired outside, she said.
“He taught them how to crawl across the floor and get to the basement,” she said.
On July 27, he was sitting on the couch playing Xbox, smiling and talking. When everyone got to the basement, they did a headcount and realized he was missing, Stuckey said.
Curry was excited his girlfriend was pregnant, but he died days before he would have learned they were having twins.
“It’s bittersweet. It’s so hard,” Stuckey said. “I want to get some answers.”
Anyone with information about Curry’s homicide is asked to call Sgt. Michael Barnes at 219-755-3855. To remain anonymous, call 866-CRIME-GP.
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