Our Pledge To You

News

Davis: Family ‘holding up quite well’ after grandson’s slaying

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis speaks with reporters outside his office Sunday.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis speaks with reporters outside his office Sunday. | Jon Seidel/Sun-Times

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis says his family is “holding up quite well” after the shooting death of his 15-year-old grandson, Javon Wilson.

Davis spoke to reporters Sunday afternoon outside of his office at Madison and California before a bail hearing for the two teens charged with his grandson’s murder.

“I’m not excited about even the charge,” he said.

“I have empathy not only for the members of my family whose lives have been disrupted,” Davis said, “but I also have empathy and concern for the families of the individuals who were involved. I’ve never been into this eye-for-an-eye and a tooth-for-a-tooth kind of business. That’s not my personality. That’s not my being.”

Tariq Harris, 16, and Dijae Banks, 17, were denied bail. Harris and Banks were charged as adults with first-degree murder and home invasion in the death of Wilson, who was shot in the neck Friday at his Englewood home.

Cook County Judge James Brown said the pair “pose a grave danger to the community” and showed “a clear and total callous disregard [for the] precious nature of human life.”

Saturday funeral services set for U.S. Rep. Danny Davis’ grandson

Prosecutors said the shooting was a result of a dispute over a pair of borrowed shoes.

In previous weeks Banks had exchanged clothing with Wilson’s 14-year-old brother, including a pair of shoes she lent him in exchange for a pair of pants, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Bryan Grissman said at a court hearing Sunday.

Banks and Harris arrived Friday at the back door of the Wilson’s second-story apartment in the 5600 block of South Princeton Avenue with a message: Banks wanted the shoes back.

Wilson’s younger brother told Banks she wasn’t going to get the shoes back until she returned the pants he loaned her.

When Wilson’s brother opened the door slightly, both Harris and Banks forced their way in, at which point Banks pulled a gun and began threatening Wilson’s 16-year-old sister, prosecutors said.

Banks handed the gun to Harris and began to fight the girl.

As they battled, Harris held the gun and slid the safety on and off, Grissman said.

When Javon Wilson tried to separate his sister and Banks, Banks punched him with a closed fist. Wilson punched her back, Grissman said.

Assistant State's Attorney Bryan Grissman talks to reports after a court hearing

Assistant State’s Attorney Bryan Grissman | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Banks then yelled at Harris for allowing the siblings to treat her this way.

“Harris then took a step back, raised the firearm and fired it one time, striking the victim in the neck,” Grissman said.

At the time of the shooting, Wilson’s adult uncle and a 19-year-old family friend were in the home, Grissman said.

Harris and Banks, who was on probation for a robbery conviction, turned themselves in Saturday, according to police and prosecutors.

Neither Harris, of the 8100 block of South Loomis Boulevard, nor Banks, of the 12000 block of South Indiana Avenue, showed any emotion during their hearing Sunday.

Davis said former President Bill Clinton has reached out to him, along with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, U.S. Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth and other politicians.

He also responded to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s tweet that, “The murder of Congressman Danny Davis’ 15 year old grandson in a Chicago home invasion is reminder we need a federal strategy to save lives.”

“All of us would agree that certain kinds of values would dictate behavior,” Davis said. “No matter what your values are, if you don’t have a gun, you cannot shoot.”

“Getting guns out of our lives and off our streets and out of the hands of individuals who should not have them has to become a priority for this country at every level of government,” Davis said.

Javon Wilson, 14, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis' grandson, was shot and killed inside his home in Englewood on Friday.

Javon Wilson, 15, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis’ grandson, was shot and killed inside his home in Englewood on Friday. | Facebook photo

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Dijae Banks was a student at Kenwood High School.