The 15-year-old grandson of Illinois Rep. Danny Davis was shot dead Friday night in his home in the South Side of Chicago. Police say the assailants knew the teen, Jovan Wilson, personally and committed the fatal shooting over an argument about gym shoes.
The assailants, another 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl, entered Wilson’s home Friday night when his mother had run out to get food, reports the Chicago Tribune. After a heated argument, the male assailant pulled out a gun and shot Wilson in the head. Wilson’s 16-year-old sister, 14-year-old brother, and 8-year-old brother were in the home at the time of the shooting.
When the police arrived, Wilson was pronounced dead. The assailants have not yet been apprehended.
"There was a history between the young people involved and it was a dispute over gym shoes. This was not random but was egregious and senseless to use a gun over a fight for clothes," Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, told the Tribune. He also said the incident “underscores that there's no repercussions for using guns in Chicago and our criminal justice system is not an effective deterrent."
In a press conference, Wilson’s grandfather spoke fondly of his grandson, and talked about the young boy's love of basketball and rap music. Rep. Davis, who has represented the 7th Congressional District of Illinois since 1996 and has repeatedly campaigned against gun violence, also noted the incident was part of a larger trend of violence in Chicago.
"I guess that I always knew that the possibility existed that it could happen close to me," said Rep. Davis. "As a matter of fact, I thought it was so unfortunate because Jovan had just reached a point, 15, his grades had improved at school. His father had just told me about how proud of him that he was because he was catching on and realizing that all of his life was in front of him."
He also said the tragedy “reinforces a lot of things we already know” about violence in Chicago.
“There’s an awful lot of people in Chicago who are in need of help, who need help to heal them and share their ideas and personalities,” he said. “There’s a need for them to have jobs and employment opportunities and there's a need for young people especially to have more effective instruction.”
“We need to improve our schools,” he continued. “We need to make sure that there are enough schools and after-school recreational, job activity to keep young people busy and engaged and all of those things … and his being shot is just simply a manifestation of the tremendous urban crisis that we are facing in Chicago.”