CHICAGO (FOX 32 / SUN-TIMES) - U.S. Rep. Danny Davis says his family is “holding up quite well” after shooting death of his 15-year-old grandson, Javon Wilson, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Davis spoke to reporters Sunday afternoon outside of his office at Madison and California before a bail hearing for the two teens charged with his grandson’s murder.
“I’m not excited about even the charge,” he said.
“I have empathy not only for the members of my family whose lives have been disrupted,” Davis said, “but I also have empathy and concern for the families of the individuals who were involved. I’ve never been into this eye-for-an-eye and a tooth-for-a-tooth kind of business. That’s not my personality. That’s not my being.”
Tariq Harris, 16, and Diajae Banks, 17, were denied bail. Harris and Banks were charged as adults with first-degree murder and home invasion in the death of Wilson, who was shot in the neck Friday at his Englewood home.
Cook County Judge James Brown said the pair “pose a grave danger to the community” and showed “a clear and total callous disregard [for the] precious nature of human life.”
Prosecutors said the shooting was a result of a dispute over a pair of borrowed shoes.
In previous weeks Banks had exchanged clothing with Wilson’s 14-year-old brother, including a pair of shoes she lent him in exchange for a pair of pants, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Bryan Grissman said at a court hearing Sunday.
Banks and Harris arrived Friday at the back door of the Wilson house with a message: Banks wanted the shoes back.
Wilson’s younger brother told Banks she wasn’t going to get the shoes back until she returned the pants he loaned her.
When Wilson’s brother opened the door slightly, both Harris and Banks forced their way in, at which point Banks pulled a gun and began threatening Wilson’s 16-year-old sister, prosecutors said.
Banks handed the gun to Harris and began to fight the girl.
As they battled, Harris held the gun and slid the safety on and off, Grissman said
When Javon Wilson tried to separate his sister and Banks, Banks punched him with a closed fist. Wilson punched her back, Grissman said.
Banks then yelled at Harris for allowing the siblings to treat her this way.
“Harris then took a step back, raised the firearm and fired it one time, striking the victim in the neck,” Grissman said.
At the time of the shooting, Wilson’s adult uncle and a 19-year-old family friend were in the home, Grissman said.
Harris and Banks turned themselves in Saturday, he said.
Neither Harris nor Banks showed any emotion during their hearing Sunday.
Davis said former President Bill Clinton has reached out to him, along with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, U.S. Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth and other politicians.
He also responded to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s tweet that, “The murder of Congressman Danny Davis’ 15 year old grandson in a Chicago home invasion is reminder we need a federal strategy to save lives.”
“All of us would agree that certain kinds of values would dictate behavior,” Davis said, adding “No matter what your values are, if you don’t have a gun, you cannot shoot.”
“Getting guns out of our lives and off our streets and out of the hands of individuals who should not have them has to become a priority for this country at every level of government,” Davis said.
Davis said his grandson was a sophomore at Perspectives Charter High School and had recently become a good student. He loved music and basketball.
"[Basketball] was his heart, his life, and he loved it," Davis said.
“I grieve for my family,” Davis said. “I grieve for the young man who pulled the trigger. I grieve for his family, his parents, his friends, some of whom will never see him again.”
“What could have prevented this tragedy? Better education, more supervision after school activity. Better parenting,” Davis said.