CHICAGO (CBS) — Friends and family are gathering Friday evening to remember Sgt. James Eric Davis Sr. and his wife, Diva Davis. The couple was shot to death in their son’s Central Michigan University dorm room one week ago.
Police in Michigan say the gunman was their son, 19-year-old James Eric Davis Jr. He has been charged with two counts of murder and is being held on $1.25 million bond.
Despite the charges, his family wants the public not to judge, but rather support him. Russell Matthew Davis asked for support and prayers for his younger brother in a Facebook post, siting that he also lost a mother and father.
“This is not Eric. Something happened, but they don’t know what,” said Brent Hopper, who’s representing the family. “The alleged activity does not fit his personality. That was not Eric Jr.”
Those who know Davis Sr. and his wife are struggling to come to terms with the tragic way their lives ended.
“I remember James as a kid in Bellwood, we actually played together. This has been one of the toughest days for the village of Bellwood in many years,” Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey said the day of the murders.
Those who worked with Davis Sr. at the Bellwood Police Department were equally as shocked.
“I just have no words for it. I mean, you just don’t believe it’s going to happen to you. You’re going to pick your child up from school. You just don’t. You just don’t,” Bellwood Police Chief Jiminez Allen said. It’s really tragic that we lost James. James was a close personal friend of mine, as well as many other offices on the police department. He will truly be missed.”
The wake is being held at the Johnson Funeral Home in the North Austin neighborhood. It will run until 8 p.m.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday in Broadview; the burials will be private.
Davis Jr.’s parents had come to the university to pick up their son and take him home to Plainfield for spring break. According to police reports, Davis Jr. appeared disoriented the night before the shootings, and has since indicated that he was on drugs. University police took him to a hospital and made him call his parents.