Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Man killed in Rogers Park had turned his life around to help others, mother says
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Lawrence “Ricky” Wilson often mentored high-risk teens, hoping tales of his brief dalliance with crime would keep others out of trouble.  And when he wasn’t inspiring youth, he’d be at church, rapping or playing running back or safety for the Chi-Town Blaze semi-pro football team, family and friends said.

Shortly after midnight Sunday, Wilson, 23, was gunned down in what his mother said was a case of mistaken identity.  “He wasn’t in a gang. Not that I know of,” Jennifer Francis said after Cook County prosecutors detailed how Dyshawn Brown, the teenage gunman accused in Wilson’s murder, was handed a sawed off shotgun and offered money to kill a Gangster Disciple.  Authorities described the slaying as “gang-related.”

Francis, 50, said Wilson was on his bicycle headed to his girlfriend’s house to watch a movie when he was shot in the chest in Rogers Park.  Brown and his two Wells Academy classmates, who allegedly acted as lookouts in the shooting were charged as adults in the murder in the 1500 block of West Jonquil Terrace.

Judge Adam D. Bourgeois Jr. Tuesday ordered Brown held without bond. Both Devonte Lamb, 17, and Desmone Smart, 15, were ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Wilson had initially spoken with Brown and Smart when the pair struck up a conversation with him before walking away Sunday morning, Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini said. Brown and Smart eventually met up with Lamb and it was Lamb who waved Wilson over to a building where Brown shot him, Santini said.

Wilson, whose great, great uncle was the late journalist Les Brownlee, was an Evanston Township High School graduate and has two surviving brothers, his mother said.  Wilson had a 2008 conviction for armed robbery but was bent on turning his life around, Francis insisted.  “He made a choice,” Francis said, stressing how much Wilson loved mentoring students through the organization TRIBE — Total Resources Involving Benefits Everyone.

“If he came from a troubled background you never knew it,” Wilson’s Chi-Town Blaze coach Carlos Jones said.  "He was a great guy. He was very dedicated. He never missed any practices or games. Everybody on the team is hurting.”

1 comment:

mcl said...

From an NHNA member and a resident of 'North of Howard':

"Thank you for the update. There is always a jump to judgment on people based on area they live in and race that immediately makes it gang related or everyone involved was in a crime filled lifestyle. Everyone can change their lives which he was doing and unfortunately lost his life."