Relatives of WIU shooting suspect speak out about his desire for a better life through college

When bad things happen, families on both sides hurt. Prayers were said at the corner of 64th and Honore in Englewood Sunday afternoon not far from where Kavion Poplous grew up and hoped to live a better life.  

“At our family, me and him were really striving for college,” said Elvin Turner, cousin.

But less than a month into his freshman year at Western Illinois University on a basketball scholarship, Poplous,18, now faces first degree attempted murder charges in the shooting of his roommate. It’s a shooting that prompted an evacuation of the entire 19 story, 800 room residence hall on September 15. 

“Everybody looking from the outside in trying to see what’s going on but I know him, I talk to him personally,” said Turner, who spoke to his cousin on the phone ahead of Sunday’s power prayer at the Peace House at 64th and Honore. Poplous is behind bars on a million dollar bond. “Ain’t nobody want to be in there, but he just needs to know his family out here for him."

The student who was shot survived, but has a long road to recovery. While this family asks for support from heaven above, their focus is also on the victim.

“We’re gonna stay prayerful for both families. We pray for Kavion and we pray for the victim, that he has a speedy recovery and we just want the best for both of these young men. I’ve been knowing this family for many years and it’s a tight knit family, real close family and he’s really and he’s really a good kid overall, no matter what anybody thinks about him,” said Darryl Smith, community activist.

As for the student who was shot, his family asks for privacy at this time.