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Celebrity

Jennifer Hudson's Neighborhood Grieves Over Deaths

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Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

In front of the white two-story home barred with yellow police line tape, where Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson‘s mother and brother were fatally shot Friday, neighbors and fans stood in shock. Amidst the downpour and lightning on Chicago’s south side, bystanders continued to stare and watch police and forensic service officials work to find more information relating to the deaths of mother Darnell Donerson and brother Jason Hudson.

As neighborhood residents stood in the rain on the dimly lit street among boarded up buildings, everyone was quiet – staring in the direction of Hudson’s childhood home later that evening. The police tape kept bystanders away from the house, forcing people to gather at the end of the street in front of Hudson’s high school Yale, just a half block from the house.

“Jennifer always used to beg her mom to get out of that neighborhood, but she owned that house and she would never leave,” said a neighbor.

One bystander stood with her hood over her head, praying and making the sign of the cross as she witnessed the scene of the murders.

Another bystander was in shock. “It was such a nice family,” she said. “I was shocked that somebody could ever do something like that to such a sweet lady. [Donerson] was quiet, but very nice,” she said. “She kept to herself and stayed in her house a lot.”

Hudson’s family home in Chicago
EPA
But the neighbor did say that she was friendly with everyone in the neighborhood. “She hosted a block party for our whole neighborhood a few months back,” the neighbor said. “She provided food and she planned the whole event, she was so nice. She would do anything for anyone.”

Although reports claim that the gunshots were fired early in the morning, around 8 a.m., neighbors say no one knew anything was going on until about 2:45 p.m., when police were called to the scene.

As for missing 7-year-old Julian King, the son of Hudson’s sister Julia, neighbors say he is a happy, bubbly child. “Julian is a sweet boy and is always laughing,” said a source. “He’s a very generous child.”

An Amber Alert has been issued for King, who police said might have been in the company of William Balfour, Julia’s estranged husband, when he reportedly fled in either a Chevy Suburban or a Chrysler Concord, CBS News reports. The four-door teal green Chrysler was found overnight.

Balfour, 27, was arrested and put into custody on Friday but has not been charged in the deaths.

According to reports, Jennifer Hudson returned to Chicago on Friday night after learning the news of her mother and brother’s deaths.