James Jones, 21 years old, died around noon on June 20 while protecting his mother from Chicago violence, when the boy had shielded her from a shooting, by putting his body over hers. Alicia Jones, 46 years old, was protected by her son who shielded her from the bullets being shot at him, according to family members. Though he was not able to protect his mother from all of the bullets, as she was critically injured, his sacrifice was not in vein as she was able to survive.
The mom, Alicia, had to have surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in order to survive the injuries she suffered. The son, James, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The two were on the porch at the 8400 block of South Colfax Avenue, when the horrors of Chicago violence took hold, as a man approached them from the alley and opened fire, according to the police.
James used his body to shield his mother, according to Dietra Luckett, the sister of Alicia Jones. After the shooting, Luckett went inside the house to find Larry Means, her brother-in-law. She said he was in his bed, shaking. There was also a four-year-old in the house.
Means expressed her despair that Chicago violence left James is dead, but he is very glad that his wife and grandchild are okay. Alicia Jones, on the other hand, is a mother who just lost her third child to Chicago violence, according to Luckett.
Jones’ daughter, Antoinette Means, was killed during a robbery in 2006 at a South Side KFC while she was working. She was the valedictorian of her high school class, according to the Tribune. She was 19 years old when she was killed.
Antoinette’s four-year-old half-brother, Curtis Jones Jr., was killed in 1994 when two gang members tossed a Molotov cocktail through a window in their home, in an attempt to kill a rival gang member, according to prosecutors. At the time, James was only five months old. His life was saved when his cousin dropped him out of a second-story window into a relative’s arms.
Luckett said that on the day that James died, he had just returned from purchasing cigarettes from a neighbor. While he was at the neighbor’s home, someone had made a comment that James did not pay attention to, when got on his bike to go home. Once James was home, a van had parked in the alley. The driver approached James and said something more to him, however, James did not pay him any mind and attempted to go in the house. At the same time, his mom was coming out of the house and that is when the man started shooting. The boy shielded his mother from the Chicago violence that claimed his life, but he was able to save her life before he died. Alicia knew that she had been shot and was asking for people to get James off of her, not knowing that he was dead.
Luckett and other family members do not want Alicia to know that her son is dead while she is still in recovery. Alicia knows that her son, James shielded her to save her life, but she is not aware that he had died in the process. She keeps asking for James, according to Luckett.
James was not an angel. His family was aware that James sold drugs, had a criminal record, and was on parole after he had been sentenced to prison for attempted burglary. Though he had a past, he was the man that saved his mother’s life.
Luckett believes that the shooting was gang-related and she believes that James Jones was the target. The police will most likely confirm that it was gang-related Chicago violence, but no arrests have yet been made. Luckett said that when they were growing up, Chicago violence was very different. They settled disputes then with fist fights, not firearms. She moved away for a while and joined the Army, but when she returned to Chicago, it was different.
Jones reported that over a dozen had been shot from Chicago violence since Friday afternoon. At 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 20, a 23-year-old man had been shot in the right knee in West Belden Avenue at the 3100 block in the Palmer Square neighborhood, according to police. He told the police that he was on the sidewalk when an unknown male approached and fired at him before he got into a vehicle and fled the scene, stated police. The shot man refused medical attention at the scene. The incident was gang-related, police said.
There was also two unrelated shootings from Chicago violence. A person was shot at 3 p.m. on North Karlov Avenue on the 2200 block on the West Side of Hermosa neighborhood. At 1:55 p.m., the other shooting was on Drexel Avenue on the 5500 block in the Bronzeville neighborhood, police said.
The South Colfax shooting that killed James Jones also put Alicia Jones in critical condition at a local hospital, police said. A few hours after the shooting, blood was still on the porch, spattered near some broken glass, even after the porch was hosed down by the fire department, as the blood had soaked into the wood. One man said that all he could smell was blood. Another also complained about the smell of blood, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Bystanders in the area are disturbed by the blood. It currently stands as a possible reminder that this son who was involved in gang and drug activity still died from Chicago violence, while shielding his mother from a shooting that was meant for him.
By Jeanette Smith
Chicago Tribune: Man, 21, Dies Shielding Mother During South Chicago Shooting
NBC Chicago: Son Shields Mom From Gunfire, Dies Saving Her in South Chicago
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