CHICAGO—Two teenagers were charged with first-degree murder Sunday in the fatal shooting of an Illinois congressman’s grandson following an argument over a pair of basketball shoes.
Chicago police did not identify the 16-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl, who are due in bond court later Sunday.
Police said the two were arrested after they were identified as suspects in Friday’s shooting death of 15-year-old Javon Wilson, the grandson of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago.
Police have said the shooting stemmed from a dispute over basketball shoes. Wilson knew his attackers and they may have been friends at some point.
Davis said he was told that a 15-year-old boy had traded slacks for shoes with Wilson’s 14-year-old brother, but thought better of the trade and went to Wilson’s house with a 17-year-old girl. He said the pair forced their way in the house and argued with Wilson before the boy shot Wilson in the head.
Davis, a Democratic member of the House for 20 years, told The Associated Press on Saturday that his grandson was a victim of a world where gun violence has become commonplace.
“It’s almost, just the way it is. People think nothing of it,” Davis said. “Youngsters invariably say, ‘I know a lot of guys who’ve got guns. I know a lot of girls who’ve got guns.'”
“It becomes a part of the culture of an environment that has got to change.”
Chicago has seen a dramatic rise in the number of shootings and homicides, with August being the deadliest month in the city in two decades. There have been 673 homicides so far this year, including the fatal shootings of the cousin of Chicago Bulls basketball star Dwyane Wade, a Chicago police officer’s son and the son of a famed percussionist.
Davis was re-elected this month to his 11th term in the 7th Congressional District and is a former Chicago alderman.
He describd his grandson as “a pretty regular kid” who loved playing basketball and knew all the pros and their stats, who also loved music and whose grades were improving after a rough patch.
“The question becomes where does a 15-year-old obtain a gun? Who let the 15-year-old have a gun and under what circumstances?” Davis said. “There’s no answer for that except that the availability of guns is so prevalent in America to the point where you almost can’t tell who has a gun” anymore.