CHICAGO (CBS) — The mother of one of two teenagers accused of killing Javon Wilson, the grandson of Congressman Danny Davis, offered an apology to the boy’s family Sunday night, and said her daughter is “devastated” by what happened.
Wilson, 15, was shot and killed Friday night at his home in the 5600 block of South Princeton Avenue.
Diajae Banks, 17, and Tariq Harris, 16, were charged as adults with first-degree murder and home invasion in Wilson’s death. Both were denied bail during their first court appearance on Sunday. Afterward, Banks’ mother offered an apology to Wilson’s family.
“I strongly want to apologize to the family, because I am a mother of four, and it would devastate me if it was my child, so you all have my condolences and my prayers. That’s no doubt,” Demika Banks said.
Police and prosecutors said the two suspects were friends with Wilson’s 14-year-old brother. Wilson and the suspects also were schoolmates at Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy charter school in Bronzeville. The school released a statement over the weekend, recalling its teachers’ last interaction with Wilson:
“The Perspectives community is deeply saddened and extends our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Javon Wilson. This tragic event occurred just hours after Javon and his classmates experienced a STEM Field Study at the MLK Center. The last interaction that staff and students had with Javon was him learning in the community and then skating happily with his peers. Javon will be missed.
“Perspectives is preparing to support Javon’s friends, classmates and school staff during this very difficult time. We are especially devastated by this incident as a school whose students are leading a peace movement in Chicago.”
Banks’ mother said her daughter has been traumatized.
“This is her friend who is dead. She’s devastated. She’s devastated. She is devastated. I don’t even think she’s in her right state of mind right now,” she said.
On Sunday, shortly after the suspects appeared in court, Davis described the support his family has received from across the country after Wilson’s death.
“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, 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.”
Prosecutors said Wilson’s siblings witnessed the shooting and identified the suspects. The shooting allegedly resulted from a dispute over a pair of borrowed gym shoes. Davis said his grandson’s sister and two brothers – one only 8 years old – were home at the time of the shooting. They witnessed the shooting and identified the suspects.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson spoke briefly about the incident during his visit in Rome.
“It’s just a shame that dispute over personal items led to a tragic death like that,” he said.
While Davis said his family is doing well in the midst of such tragedy, they’re finding comfort in the support they’re receiving nationwide.
“I really want to thank all of the many people who have called; including the President of United States, senators, leaders in the House, leaders in the Senate – who called to express condolences,” Davis said.
The congressman also said he plans to have a news conference after Thanksgiving with other legislators to push for new gun laws.