As police investigated the murder of her teenage son, Leslie Bell said she decided to look for the killer on her own.
Bell spoke with neighbors to find out who had last been seen with her son, 17-year-old Isaiah Davis. She tracked down and briefly met with the man who is now accused of shooting Davis to death on Oct. 28 in south suburban Burnham.
“I knew that it was him who hurt my son, who actually killed my son,” Bell said at a news conference Friday morning. “It was his interaction with me. He couldn’t give me eye contact, so that was it for me.”
Faheem Norwood, 34, was arrested Dec. 31 and charged with first-degree murder in Davis’ death, according to Cook County prosecutors and Harvey police. He appeared in court Jan. 1 and was ordered held without bail.
On Friday, police credited Bell, her family and the community for helping with the investigation that led to Norwood’s arrest.
“I thank the family of Isaiah Davis, his mother and her sisters for working with us to help bring this dangerous man to justice,” Harvey Police Deputy Chief Cameron Biddings said. “The arrest of Faheem Norwood was possible because the community worked with us.”
Bell said she was “just happy that a man like Faheem is in custody and won’t be able to hurt nobody else’s child as he did to mine.”
According to prosecutors, Norwood shot Davis on Oct. 28 and then tried to cover up the murder by setting the teen’s body on fire. They were in a home in Burnham when Norwood pointed a gun at Davis and asked, “Would you take one for your boys” before pulling the trigger.
No shot was fired, and Norwood pointed the gun at the teen a second time and pulled the trigger again. This time it went off, prosecutors said.
An attorney for Norwood said her client hadn’t intended to shoot the boy and that they were part of a group playing “Russian roulette.”
Norwood moved the teen’s body to an abandoned apartment in Riverdale, then to an alley in Harvey where it was discovered after being set on fire, prosecutors said.
At the time, Norwood was on parole for a charge related to the Oct. 24, 2010 robbery and murders of Donysha Stovall, 28, Shaquill Davis, 16, Clarisma Torry, 10, and the attempted murder of a 4-year-old, police said.
He was found not guilty of murder, but was imprisoned on other related charges.
Bell said Norwood should have never been allowed to walk out of prison, given his criminal history. “He should have never been able to walk the streets ever, after all of that,” Bell said. “My son would still be alive.”
Davis was looking forward to graduating from Thornton High School and joining the National Guard, Bell said, adding that he was also thinking about being a lawyer.
He planned to don an orange Adidas tuxedo to prom, she added. “He was a typical 17-year-old,” his mother said.
Bell said she feels lost without her son. Her family would call him to help with any problems they might have had, no matter how small.
“Every time I turn and something is broke, I think, oh I can’t call Isaiah, what am I gonna do,” Bell said. “Everything was Isaiah. He was my baby, he was the last child.”
Contributing: Katie Anthony