Family of 5-year-old boy shot on Far South Side pleads for answers

Twenty-five days have passed since gunfire ripped through the window of an apartment in the 200 block of West 115th Street. Clareon Williams underwent another surgery Friday.

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The parents of 5-year-old Clareon Williams speak to reporters in the 200 block of West 115th Street Friday, where the boy was shot in the head Nov. 16.

The parents of 5-year-old Clareon Williams speak to reporters in the 200 block of West 115th Street Friday, where the boy was shot in the head Nov. 16.

Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Gwendolyn Dunmars knows her son is on a journey.

“It might not be quick. It might not be soon. But it’s a journey that we’re willing to take,” she said Friday, standing outside the Far South Side apartment building where her son, 5-year-old Clareon Williams, was shot in the head as he sat on a couch, playing on an iPad with his father.

Twenty-five days have passed since gunfire ripped through the window Nov. 16. Clareon remains hospitalized and underwent another surgery earlier in the day.

His father, Clarence Williams, said Clareon didn’t suffer any brain or nerve damage and has mobility in his limbs.

While those signs of consciousness bring optimism, the person who shot the child remains at large.

“He’s coming along, he’s doing good right now. He’s going to pull through this,” Clarence Williams said.

Williams urged the person who shot Clareon to turn himself in and anyone with information to come forward. “He’s 5 years old, he’s sitting on the couch playing with me, and he did not deserve it.”

Clareon Williams

Clareon Williams

Provided

“You can also remain anonymous through the process,” Dunmars added. “Nobody is asking anybody to tell on nobody. It ain’t snitching. You can remain anonymous. Whatever you have to do at this time, we’re just asking for a little help and a little support.”

Shortly after the boy was shot, the anti-violence group “I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot” announced a $10,000 reward for information about Clareon’s shooter. Another $1,000 has since been added.

Appealing for help in the investigation, the Chicago Police Department last month released surveillance footage that shows a male leaning out of an SUV and firing a gun at the building in the 200 block of West 115th Street.

Standing outside the building Friday, community activist and crisis responder Andrew Holmes pointed to a poster that featured photos of children shot or killed in Chicago in recent years. One of those children was 11-year-old Takiya Holmes, a relative of Andrew Holmes, who was shot and killed in 2017.

“You all have seen that video. You’ve seen that young man hanging out that car. You seen him riding through here,” Holmes said in a plea for information. “There’s a family member that knows that’s your family member. It’s time for the community to step up, give the authorities a call, and it’s time for this young man to take a ride over to the county. Time for him to be brought to justice.”

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The group said a change in curfew wasn’t the answer. More resources, like after-school programming and community centers that stay open late, would help prevent gun violence, they said.