The Watchdogs

Lives lost: These are the victims of Chicago’s bloodiest weekend of 2018

These are stories of the lives Chicago lost last weekend, the bloodiest all year in a city that’s become all too well known for violence.

From 5 p.m. Aug. 3 until 5 a.m. Monday, 71 people were shot in Chicago. Some of the dozen of them who were killed were teenagers, enjoying the waning days of summer. Others had long criminal records. Several were unintended targets. Many left behind families and young kids of their own.

Jahnae Patterson, 17

One of those killed was Jahnae Patterson, 17. She and her three best friends were at a block party in North Lawndale around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Jahnae Patterson, 17.

Jahnae Patterson, 17 | Facebook

The four, nearly inseparable, had big dreams. Patterson’s was to be a nurse after she graduated from Manley Career Academy. She was going to buy a house with her friend Chinyere Jordan once their careers took off.

The group had met three years ago, but they felt as though they’d known each other a lifetime and would be friends for another lifetime.

As they made their way down the 1300 block of Millard Avenue to use a restroom, two men came out of the alley and started shooting at a group of about 30 people who were outside at the block party.

“When we heard the shots, we ran trying to get in to the house,” Jordan said. “I was able to run in to the hallway, and at the time I didn’t realize Jahnae was hit. She tried getting up. But she couldn’t. She was just bleeding out.”

Patterson was shot multiple times as she ran south on Millard toward Douglas Boulevard. She made it to Douglas before collapsing in front of the door to an apartment building.

Five other people were wounded in the same shooting, including Patterson’s friend Mirelle Easterling, also 17, who was hit in the arm as they ran away.

Days later, there were still blood stains on the concrete.

“I feel like nothing without her,” Easterling said through tears, holding the bandages on her arm where she was shot. “I feel like my world ended when hers did.”

“She shouldn’t have lost her life right here in front of everybody,” Jordan said. “We weren’t supposed to see that happen.”

Earl Young, 30

Earl Young.

Earl Young (right) was a groomsman at his friend Deloco Bevil’s wedding. | Provided photo

Earl Young, 30, was wearing his old Sullivan House High School T-shirt when he died.

It’s an alternative school for at-risk kids on the South Side. And it’s where the parentless Chicago Public Schools dropout had the chance to become an honor student, a basketball star and the prom king. It’s where he met his best friends, who were going to be a part of his wedding next May.

The school gave him a chance to turn his life around — to go to college, to become a cook and a father of two daughters — at 30 years old.

But Friday night, “Chicago still got him,” one of his former teachers said.

Young was with his fiancée Kendra Rodriguez at her South Shore home. They got into an argument with one of her neighbors about her puppies peeing from her third-floor balcony onto his below.

The neighbor shot Young in the back, killing him, according to Rodriguez, who said he took off and hasn’t come back.

“I don’t even have the words,” Rodriguez said. “I still feel like I’m stuck in a nightmare I just haven’t woken up from. People tell you to be strong and it’s hard to find strength in a situation like this, for something so senseless.”

Young and Rodriguez had been making plans to move in together. He already was spending most of his time at her home, helping to care for their newborn daughter, Kourage. Young also has a 10-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Alayla.

A couple of weeks ago, Young was playing in a basketball tournament back at Sullivan, where he had remained involved since graduating in 2007, serving as a mentor to students.

The tournament was the last time Darnell Payne saw him.

“I haven’t slept in days because I really can’t wrap my head around it,” said Payne, a dean and basketball coach at Sullivan who mentored Young.

On the night Young was killed, Payne stood with Rodriguez and others who gathered to try to make some sense of what happened. He called Young’s friends to tell them of his death. One call was to Deloco Bevil, one of Young’s best friends.

Bevil said he and Young walked to and from Sullivan every day together and that both had their first children the same year. Young was a groomsman at his wedding. Bevil said the last time they spoke was the day before he was killed, when Young wished him a happy anniversary and said to expect a wedding invitation in September.

After getting the news, Bevil called and spoke with Alayla and her mother.

“She broke down and cried and said, ‘Why me? Why do I have to live without a daddy?’ ” Bevil said.

Erin McGuire — a former Sullivan teacher students would call “Ms. McGeezy” — said Young took the opportunity at the school to change his life. That led him to buy a one-way ticket to California for a basketball scholarship at a small college, according to McGuire, who said he came back to Chicago because of his first-born child.

“He came from a rough path and really turned his life around,” McGuire said. “I lost a lot of students over the years, and this one hit me hard.”

Young had wanted his stepson Deavion Jones, 15, to go to Sullivan, too. Rodriguez said Deavion was just a year old when his father was shot to death. And now, with Young’s death, Rodriguez said Deavion has lost his “best friend” and father figure.

Though Deavion didn’t meet the age requirement — Sullivan students must be at least 16 to attend — Payne said the school will take him. Every day, he’ll be able to see Young’s old basketball jersey, which is framed and hung there.

“That can be his motivation,” Rodriguez said.

Charles Green, 32

Charles Green.

Charles Green. | Chicago Police Department

Charles Green spent a lot of time around Madison and Leclaire and, records show, a lot of time in trouble with the law. In the past 15 years, Green, 32, was arrested no fewer than 10 times within a block of that West Side intersection, mostly on drug charges, the most recent time on June 1.

Last Sunday morning, Green was shot and killed at the same place. Four others were wounded in the same shooting.

Donald Norris, 19

Donald Norris.

Donald Norris. | Chicago Police Department

At 19, Donald Norris was one of the youngest to be killed in Chicago last weekend.

He was one of four people shot around 4:15 a.m. Sunday in the 1600 block of North Leclaire and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Leida Sanchez, who has a son with Norris, said her “mind went blank” when she heard he was dead. After noticing a string of missed phone calls, she heard someone knocking at her door. It was Norris’ older sister. They ran to the hospital.

“I was holding onto the hope that maybe he was still alive,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez, 29, started dating Norris on his birthday — Sept. 9 — in 2015. The next year, on the same date, their son was born. She is three months pregnant with their second child.

She said Norris was a goofy, easygoing father who made others feel comfortable. Most importantly, she said, he loved their son and was always attentive.

She said it’s “like my life just turned upside-down … Your head hurts from crying. But you can’t stop.”

Norris also leaves behind his parents and seven siblings, Sanchez said. They’re planning for his funeral.

Sanchez said that Norris dropped out of high school after junior year but was preparing to go after his GED and hoped to find work in construction.

He was also an aspiring rapper, she said.

“He wasn’t just another number,” Sanchez said. “He had music dreams. He was trying to be a rapper. And he cares for his baby, he loves his son.”

Kendall Brown, 26

Kendall Brown.

Kendall Brown. | Chicago Police Department

Officers in the Chicago Police Department’s Deering District came to know Kendall Brown in the years before the 26-year-old was shot to death early Sunday.

Brown’s criminal history included 17 arrests between August 2009 and April 2014, records show. He was charged five times with domestic battery.

The same woman was the complaining witness in the final four instances, between May 2011 and May 2013, court records show, but charges ended up getting dropped when she didn’t show up in court.

In November 2014, Brown was arrested in the 5000 block of South Winchester, blocks from his home, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, court records show. He was sentenced to four years in prison and two years of supervised release.

Still, around 1 a.m. Sunday, Brown was walking in the 4800 block of South Paulina when someone shot at him from a passing Jeep, according to the police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Shot in the abdomen and an ankle, Brown was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital just before 2 a.m.

The Jeep was found unoccupied and on fire in the 4300 block of South Paulina, according to police.

Kenny Ivory, 17

Kenny Ivory.

Kenny Ivory. | Provided photo

Kenny Ivory, 17, told his girlfriend last Saturday how glad he was they didn’t end up going to a Lawndale block party that ended in a shooting.

On Sunday afternoon, he was riding his bike in Gresham, near his South Side home. There was an argument with a group, also on bikes, and Ivory was shot and killed, according to the police.

Diamond McCoy, 16, said Ivory had invited her over earlier that day, but she stayed home. When she heard the news, she ran to see his family.

She and Ivory started dating after he was released from juvenile detention, though it’s unclear what the charge was.

He previously attended Community Youth Development Institute High School, she said, and he was focusing on getting a job and making plans for his 18th birthday on Friday.

“I feel like everybody in Chicago lost somebody to gun violence,” McCoy said. “That’s just the city we in.”

Joshua Campbell, 22

Joshua Campbell.

Joshua Campbell. | Chicago Police Department

Records show he lived in Romeoville. But Joshua Campbell was familiar to police on the West Side before he was shot to death in Austin last Saturday in the 1700 block of North Mason.

The 22-year-old had been arrested several times since 2014, court records show. In September 2014, he was arrested for marijuana possession a block south of where he was killed. In May 2015, he was arrested in the same block for aggravated fleeing. That same year, Campbell got a year of probation for disorderly conduct.

Before that case wrapped up, he was charged with identity theft and possessing counterfeit debit or credit cards and given another year of probation.

Last December, Campbell was arrested in Maywood, charged with manufacturing/delivering 30 to 500 grams of cannabis, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest. He was released from custody on bail in June and, that same month, charged with domestic battery.

Ron Johnson, 50

Ron Johnson | Facebook photo

Ron Johnson | Facebook photo

On Aug. 4, Ron Johnson attended the funeral of one of his closest friends who was gunned down in Altgeld Gardens.

A day later, Johnson was slain himself just a few blocks away.

The 50-year-old was remembered as a community-oriented man who volunteered for nonprofit organizations in the Far South Side neighborhood where he lived his entire life.

“He was a giver. Very loving,” said Latrice Townsend, who said she is the mother of one of Johnson’s 13 children. “If you were down, he could lift you right back up.”

Shortly after midnight Monday, Johnson and another man were standing in front of a home in the 13000 block of South Drexel when someone in a ski mask walked up and opened fire, according to police.

Shot in the head, Johnson died at the scene not far from his home, authorities said. A 55-year-old woman suffered a leg wound.

Court records show Johnson had faced a series of drug arrests over the years, including one in 2002 that landed him in prison for six years. He “did what he had to do” to support his family, Townsend said.

“He maintained. Anything that came his way, he did,” she said.

Most mornings, Johnson could be spotted in the neighborhood with a newspaper and pen in hand, working on the day’s crossword puzzle.

“They took a very good man from the neighborhood who was out here helping the youth, in a neighborhood that really needs a good man to stand up,” Townsend said.

Kenyate Sparks, 29

At 3:37 a.m. last Sunday, there was a report of shots fired in the 1100 block of South Springfield on the West Side. Officers found 29-year-old Kenyate Sparks there, shot in the neck. Sparks was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he died at 8:52 a.m., authorities said.

His fiancée Sakeem Byrd told WGN News that Sparks was an amazing father, always looking to bring a smile to people’s faces.

Byrd said she was with him at the time of the shooting and doesn’t think she will be able to shake the sight of her fiancé dying.

Court records show Sparks was arrested four times in the past five years on drug and weapons charges. In March, he was arrested in the 200 block of North Pulaski, charged with being an armed habitual criminal, being a felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was to have been in court on those charges on Thursday.

In September 2013, he’d been charged with manufacturing/delivering heroin near a school, arrested in the 4100 block of West Wilcox, an area that’s been besieged by heroin. In a plea deal, he was sentenced to a year in prison but given credit for 284 days of time already served.

He was more than just a criminal record to his fiancée.

“He loved his family, and he loved his kids,” Byrd said. “It’s just so sad that now they got robbed of that from him.”

Frank W. Warren, 59

Two men were working in the 6800 block of South Wood last Saturday when they saw two men shooting at each other across the street, police said.

Frank W. Warren, 59, was shot twice in the abdomen, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. The West Englewood resident was pronounced dead shortly before 1 p.m. at the University of Chicago Medical Center. An autopsy found Warren died from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen.

The other man, 47, was wounded and treated at the same hospital, police said.

Authorities said the two men were caught in crossfire and were not the intended targets.

Nicholas Cox, 23

Nicholas Cox, 23, was standing in front of a home with a 32-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl in the 2700 block of South Dearborn a little before 8 p.m. Sunday when a vehicle pulled up and a passenger got out and shot him in the abdomen and buttocks, killing him, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

Cox lived in that block.

The shooter drove away, the police said.

Eric Johnson, 26

Early last Saturday, Eric Johnson, 26, was walking with a woman in the 12200 block of South State Street, near where he lived, when someone walked up and shot him, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

Johnson was shot multiple times in his back and died at Roseland Community Hospital.

 

According to the police, no arrests have been made in any of the killings last weekend.

Contributing: Mitchell Armentrout

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