‘Un­bear­able’ pain and a plea for jus­tice

Mourn­ers grieve loss of 8-year-old DaJore Wil­son, as pas­tor calls for any­one with in­for­ma­tion on shooter to come for­ward

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY SAM CHARLES, STAFF RE­PORTER scharles@sun­times.com | @samjcharle­s

Dozens flocked to a south subur­ban church Fri­day morn­ing to mourn the loss and cel­e­brate the life of DaJore Wil­son, the 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Ca­naryville this month.

A steady stream of cars started to ar­rive at the Abun­dant Liv­ing Chris­tian Cen­ter in Dolton shortly af­ter 10 a.m. Within an hour, so many mourn­ers had ar­rived that their ve­hi­cles caused a traf­fic jam out­side the church.

About a third of the roughly 150 at­ten­dees ei­ther wore or car­ried some­thing pink, DaJore’s fa­vorite color.

Pink shirts, pink masks, pink hand­bags, pink bal­loons and pink roses could all be seen out­side the church.

One woman’s shirt read: “Sweet as pie,” an­other was em­bla­zoned with: “All hail DaJore.” Ser­vices were briefly paused af­ter an ar­gu­ment in the church prompted a brief visit from a half dozen Dolton po­lice of­fi­cers.

A copy of DaJore’s obit­u­ary, handed out to ser­vice at­ten­dees, said: “Our pre­cious an­gel DaJore loved fash­ion, her baby dolls, school and, most im­por­tantly, her fam­ily.”

Ser­vices con­cluded at 12:15 p.m., when DaJore’s clear glass cas­ket was wheeled out­side and placed into a wait­ing hearse.

She at­tended Dewey El­e­men­tary School at 54th Street and Union Av­enue, and “she brought joy and hap­pi­ness to ev­ery­one she en­coun­tered. She was very shy but yet a diva.”

DaJore was mur­dered near 47th Street and Union Av­enue in the early evening hours of Sept. 7.

She was in a ve­hi­cle with other mem­bers of her fam­ily when a man got out of a nearby car and started shoot­ing to­ward DaJore’s fam­ily’s SUV, ac­cord­ing to Chicago po­lice.

DaJore was shot in the back and taken to Comer Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, where she was pro­nounced dead a short time later. Two other peo­ple in the SUV were also shot, a 31-year-old man and 30-year-old woman.

No ar­rests have been made in the shoot­ing as of Fri­day.

Early Walker, founder of the anti-vi­o­lence group “I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot,” an­nounced last week that his or­ga­ni­za­tion was of­fer­ing a $10,000 re­ward for any­one with in­for­ma­tion on the shooter.

Speak­ing out­side the church Fri­day morn­ing, Walker said the re­ward is still on the table, and it could soon be in­creased.

Wil­liam Flesh­man, se­nior pas­tor at Abun­dant Liv­ing, has met with DaJore’s par­ents sev­eral times in re­cent days and said “The grief that the fam­ily is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing at this time is un­bear­able.”

Echo­ing Walker, Flesh­man also called for any­one with in­for­ma­tion on DaJore’s killer to come for­ward. Flesh­man also of­fered a thinly veiled cri­tique of the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment.

“They can­not only mat­ter when it’s a white cop and a Black in­di­vid­ual,” Flesh­man said. “It has to mat­ter when it’s Black-on-Black. And so we’re ask­ing, please, who­ever you may be, if you’re watch­ing or you know, we’re ask­ing for you to please turn in this in­di­vid­ual so the fam­ily can have some peace.”

PAT NABONG/SUN-TIMES

Mourn­ers em­brace out­side Abun­dant Liv­ing Chris­tian Cen­ter in Dolton, where the wake and fu­neral for DaJore Wil­son were held Fri­day.

PRO­VIDED

DaJore Wil­son was shot and killed in Ca­naryville this month.

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