James Jones sold drugs, he’d been in prison and he was out on parole, according to his family.
But Saturday, when a man started shooting at Jones and his mother on the South Side, the 21-year-old covered his mother’s body with his own, shielding her and saving her life, said Dietra Luckett, Jones’ aunt.
“My sister just so happened to be coming out the front door,” Luckett said. “He took his body and put it on top of her body. He covered her body.”
Alicia Jones, 46, was wounded but survived. She underwent surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center.
She knows her son saved her life, Luckett said, but doesn’t know he’s gone. Her sister said she’s been asking for him, saying, “Where’s James?”
The shooting happened around noon in the 8400 block of South Colfax in South Chicago. James Jones and his mother were on their front porch when a man walked out of a gangway and fired in their direction, the police said.
Luckett said her nephew had just gotten home from buying loose cigarettes at a neighbor’s home.
She said while he was there, someone “said something to him,” but James Jones “just rolled off on his bike and didn’t think nothing of it.”
When he got home, someone had parked a van in the alley and walked up to him and “said some more words,” according to Luckett. She said her nephew didn’t pay him any attention and tried to walk inside.
At that moment, as his mom was coming outside, the man opened fire, Luckett said.
Alicia Jones knew she had been shot and asked relatives to get her son off her, Luckett said, not realizing he was dead.
Her sister said family members don’t want to tell her yet her son’s dead while she’s still recovering in the hospital.
Relatives said James Jones sold drugs. And court records show he had a criminal record and was on parole after being sentenced to prison for attempted burglary.
Police said the shooting was gang-related. They haven’t made an arrest.
Alicia Jones had four children. Now, three of her kids have died as a result of violence, according to her sister.
In 2006, Alicia Jones’ daughter, Antionette Means, was killed by a robber who emptied the cash drawer of the KFC where Means worked, then shot her for no apparent reason.
And in 1994, her 4-year-old son, Curtis Jones Jr. was killed when gang members threw a Molotov cocktail into a house, hoping to kill a rival gang member, prosecutors said then.
James Jones was only 5-months old at the time. He was saved when a cousin dropped him into a relative’s arms from the second story of the home.
At the scene of the shooting Saturday, someone left a handmade note to James Jones. It said only, “I love you.”
Contributing: Reema Amin