Blog Archive

Monday, May 05, 2008

Death Comes to Marshfield Avenue

It is with great sorrow that I report the death of 26-year-old Jason Gill, who was shot on his front porch around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. For the basics, here is a link to the Chicago Sun-Times story. Here's the Tribune story.

Here's what the articles won't tell you. Jason was the kind of young man who would wish you a blessed day. He was a short guy with a sparkly stud in each ear and the big smile he inherited from his mother. In a neighborhood where most kids don't make it through high school, he had graduated from Perspectives Charter Schools South Loop campus. The last I heard he was working for UPS.

Just last week I was bragging about him to somebody in a fancy downtown restaurant. His little sister was just admitted to the new Perspectives Math & Science Academy.

Yes, his family isn't perfect. I've seen some other young man on that porch with a can of malt liquor mighty early in the morning. I'm told one of his nephews got into a scrap last week with the young man who came back with a gun Saturday night.

Tio Hardiman from CeaseFire has it right: it's the small arguments that escalate and turn deadly, especially when young men have access to guns.

I'll post again to talk about a new effort in the neighborhood to promote peace.

2 comments:

ANTONIO MAHOLMES JR. said...

JASON GILL WAS (STILL IS) MY FIRST COUSIN ON MY MOTHERS' SIDE. I RELOCATED TO NORTHCENTRAL WISCONSIN A FEW YEARS AGO, AND I HAVEN'T PERSONALLY HAD ANY CONTACT WITH JASON SINCE MY DEPARTURE FROM CHICAGO TO WISCONSIN. UNFORTUNATELY, I'VE SPENT THE LAST TWO YEARS IN THE PENAL SYSTEM HERE. I WOULD JUST LIKE FOR IT TO BE KNOWN THAT ME AND JASON WERE VERY CLOSE, AND I CCAN'T BELIEVE HIS LIFE HAS BEEN STOLEN FROM HIM SIMPLY DUE TO A SIMPLE DISPUTE THAT WAS LEFT UNSETTLED. HE WAS A VERY STRONG, KIND, RESPECTFUL, AND COURAGEOUS YOUNG MAN. HIS ENTIRE FAMILY ALWAYS KNEW HE WAS A PERSON OF GREAT ABILITY... SOMEONE SPECIAL. I JUST PRAY TO GOD THAT THE YOUNG MEN OUT THERE LEARN VALUBLE LESSONS FROM TRAGEDY SUCH AS THIS ONE, NOT TO MENTION THE EVERYDAY VIOLENCE THAT ENGULFS CHICAGO'S STREETS.

Maritza said...

Antonio, thank you for taking the time to publicly share your connection with Jason and your thoughts about him.

Jason was a fine young man and many people have contacted me in the last week to share their reflections and condolences. May God be with you and all Jason's family in this time of sorrow.

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