‘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
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.”
Mourners embrace outside Abundant Living Christian Center in Dolton, where the wake and funeral for DaJore Wilson were held Friday.
DaJore Wilson was shot and killed in Canaryville this month.