The woman was watching television with her granddaughter Wednesday afternoon when they heard gunfire on their mostly quiet block of two- and three-flats on the Near West Side.
“We did not run to see what happened right away because we knew they were gunshots,” she explained, asking not to be named.
When she finally opened the door, she saw 14-year-old Javion Ivy lying in the street near his backpack. He had been shot twice in the chest in the 2200 block of West Adams Street — one of two 14-year-old boys shot dead in Chicago that day.
Witnesses said there were two gunmen, and one of them rummaged through his backpack before running off.
“I understand that the family is in pain,” the woman said. “But I want them to know that when the police came to work on him, before the ambulance came, I stood in my doorway and I prayed for him.
“I want them to know he was prayed for,” she said.
The woman was among a small group that gathered Friday afternoon to remember Javion.
The vigil was organized by the group Together Chicago and the family had planned to speak, but organizers told reporters they were too overcome with grief to say anything. Instead, the people held a prayer circle and one of the organizers challenged churches to do more.
“We are not going to step over any more bodies and not call attention to the fact that this is not normal, and it is not right for our children to be gunned down in the street,” said Edward Preecher with Together Chicago, calling on churches to “call attention to the fact that this is not normal and it is not acceptable.”
Hours earlier, another somber vigil was held, this one in Englewood for a pregnant mother who was killed the same day as Javion.
Hundreds of pink, blue, yellow and white balloons were released as friends and family shared stories about Derricka Patrick, who had a young daughter and was expecting her second child when she was killed Wednesday night while sitting in a parked car.
Patrick’s mother made an emotional plea to the two gunmen who killed her daughter.
“You took a beautiful young lady from this world. You took her from her family and I can’t get my baby back,” Christine Blanton said, fighting back tears. “God gave her to me for 29 years and you just ended my baby’s life like that, that’s not right. Why would you take my baby’s life. It hurts so bad. I want my baby back.”