CHICAGO (CBS) — Dominique Quinn has felt the impact of violence in Chicago up close, as her then-3-year-old son was shot in the crossfire of gang violence back in 2016.
Quinn has been watching Chicago’s new violent trend with the eye of someone who has been there. CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported Monday night on how her quiet struggle was made tougher by a second bout with gang violence.
Quinn’s story was the focus of the police, the news media, the onlookers, and those trying to help. She saw the spotlight come and go, easing the pain, but not before another blow from gang violence complicated life even more.
“I remember it just like it was yesterday,” Dominique Quinn said.
Father’s Day, June 19, 2016, became changing day. Devon was riding in a car in the 6100 block of South Kimbark Avenue around 6:15 p.m. that evening, when a gunman drove up and started shooting and struck him.
“When they came in the room and told me that, I just lost it,” she said.
Dominique Quinn lost composure upon learning her baby boy lost his ability ever to walk again. Devon is now 7, a pro at the controls of his chair – and at the video games that offer an outlet.
“When his cousins come out, they’re all playing on the slides. He just be sitting and looking at them. I know he was wishing he could do the same thing,” said Dominique Quinn. “It hurt. I just feel like his childhood was taken.”
Also taken was the utility van provided to the family from the group Devices 4 the Disabled. The Quinns got the keys in August.
“It got destroyed in December,” Dominique Quinn said, adding that Devon only got to ride in the van one time.
After that one ride, gang violence sent the van to the scrap heap.
“Clearly, it should tell you it was for someone disabled, but they didn’t care,” Dominique Quinn said.
She now cobbles bus rides and favors to get Devon around.
Bob Shay, who was paralyzed himself, presented Dominique Quinn with that van. When it was destroyed, she never asked for another.
“She didn’t tell me,” Shay said. “Maybe she felt bad.”
If you’re looking for fixes on Chicago’s violent streak, look elsewhere. Dominique Quinn is appalled by the recent violence in Chicago, which recently included the shooting that killed 7-year-old Natalia Wallace on July 4th.
“A 7-year-old little girl, shot dead,” Quinn said. “It’s ridiculous. I don’t have words for it.”
But if you’re looking for a mother who refuels every night so she can empty the tank every morning for her son, you’ve come to the right spot with Dominique Quinn.
“Honestly, I really don’t know,” she said. “When I lay down at night, I just want to go to sleep.”
Now that Devices 4 the Disabled knows Dominique Quinn is without a van, they are looking for donors. They next van, they said, will go to Dominique Quinn.
She said the families feeling the fresh pain of this fresh violent trend will feel calm as the parade of police, media, and onlookers dissipates. They are part of a growing fraternity of Chicago families who have felt life-changing violence up close.