Teenage Grandson of Illinois Rep. Danny Davis Shot Dead in Chicago

Jovan Wilson, 15-year-old grandson of Rep. Danny Davis and son of Stacey Wilson, was shot and killed Nov. 18, 2016, in his home in Englewood. (Alyssa Pointer / Chicago Tribune)
Jovan Wilson, 15-year-old grandson of Rep. Danny Davis and son of Stacey Wilson, was shot and killed Nov. 18, 2016, in his home in Englewood. (Alyssa Pointer / Chicago Tribune)

The 15-year-old grandson of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis was fatally shot in a home invasion Friday evening on the South Side, according to Davis and police.

“It was unbelievable, unbelievable,” said Davis, who was reached by phone on his way to the police station to be briefed on the incident.

The boy, whom Davis declined to name, was at his home in Englewood with his mother and other family members when two assailants broke in and began arguing with the boy, police and Davis said.

One of the attackers pulled a gun and shot the boy in the head, said Officer Michelle Tannehill, a Chicago police spokeswoman.

The boy was dead on the scene in the 5600 block of South Princeton Avenue, Tannehill said.

The boy, a sophomore at Perspectives Charter High School, loved sports and rap music, Davis said.

“He was a typical 15-year-old,” the congressman said. “He liked basketball. If you listened to him he was a basketball star, but he liked basketball and music. All those kinds of things. He was an avid sports fan, he knew all about, you know, the stats of different players.”

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi could not confirm an arrest but said late Friday police have a “good lead.”

Davis had just returned to Chicago from Washington, D.C., and was in his office when his son, the boy’s father, called him with the news of the shooting.

“Initially it was that he had been shot and then actually the police commander called me and indicated that, there during a home invasion, he had been shot and it didn’t look good,” Davis said. “Immediately I simply left and came out to the area where it had taken place,” Davis said. “It’s totally disconcerting.”

When asked what the attack says about crime in Chicago, Davis said: “Well, I think it just reinforces a lot of things we already know. 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. 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 said. “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.”

A family friend who was at the scene, Charles Raymond, 74, drove the victim’s grandmother from Hyde Park. He described her as distraught and said she cried on their way over, telling him that she had just stayed at the apartment the night before to visit her grandson.

“It’s unbelievable,” Raymond said. “I’ve known the young boy for a long time, and to hear that he got shot in the head, usually when you get shot in the head you don’t survive, so I was really disappointed to find out what it was.”

Davis had gotten to the Calumet District police headquarters at 727 E. 111th St. and was whisked upstairs. Family members who were also at the station declined to talk.

Violence has spiked this year in Chicago to levels not seen since the 1990s, and several people with prominent connections have been killed in addition to Davis’ grandson.

In mid-August, Arshell Dennis, a 19-year-old college student and the son of a Chicago police officer, was shot to death in the Wrightwood neighborhood on the Southwest Side. About two weeks later, Nykea Aldridge, 32, a cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, was gunned down while pushing her baby in a stroller in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood on the South Side.

Davis, a former Chicago alderman and Cook County commissioner, was first elected to the U.S. House in 1996. He was elected to an 11th term earlier this month. His 7th Congressional District covers much of downtown Chicago, the West Side and western Cook County suburbs and parts of the South Side, including the neighborhood where his grandson was killed.

SOURCE: Grace Wong, Rosemary Regina Sobol 
Chicago Tribune