Chicago shooting in Chatham kills 15-year-old boy, CPD says

Victim identified as Simeon football player Jamari Williams

ByLiz Nagy and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Teen killed in Chatham shooting, CPD says
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A shooting in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood near Simeon High School killed 15-year-old Jamari Williams, CPD said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A shooting in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood killed a 15-year-old boy Tuesday afternoon, according to CPD.

Chicago police said the teen was in front of a business in the 8300-block of South Holland, just down the street from Simeon High School, at about 2:40 p.m. when a black car approached and someone inside opened fire.

The boy was struck in the chest and taken to University of Chicago Hospital in critical condition, where he later died, police said.

"Growing up in Chicago, you hear about it, you see it all the time. For you to open fire in a crowd of students..." said Aie'rianna Williams, Simeon student.

Simeon students identified the boy as Jamari Williams, a player on the junior varsity football team. They said the shooting happened during an afterschool gathering.

A Simeon student said Tuesday is an early dismissal day, where students are let out at 2:20 p.m. The area where the shooting happened is frequented by students, she also said, who often hang out at the Potbelly and GameStop and other stores.

"It's heartbreaking. They call it the Simeon curse because we lose a student every year. When is it going to stop? Because we all know when we graduate it's not going to stop. We're going to hear about it again, and again. It's tiring," Williams said, breaking into tears. "Just stop, like, just stop."

Arguably Simeon's most famous and tragic shooting happened to Ben Wilson, the country's leading basketball player who was gunned down during lunch in 1984.

The brothers of slain Simeon High School basketball star Ben Wilson are turning to forgiveness after their brother's death.

The crime scene seemed to be concentrated in front of the BMO Harris Bank at the location, but police said the shooters sprayed the parking lot with multiple rounds.

"We heard the sound and saw people running," said an employee at a GameStop store near the shooting who declined to be named. "Kids were leaving school and then it happened."

The manager of a Potbelly was pulling into the restaurant parking lot when she heard gunshots and saw the teen lying on the ground in front of a bank.

"I heard it but couldn't see it. He was on the ground," said the manager, who declined to provide her name.

"Everyone knows that Simeon students come to JJs after school," Williams said. "We go to potbelly, Walmart. Everybody knows. So for you to sit there and fire 12 rounds, they could hit anybody, not just your target. It's heartbreaking. What if that was somebody you knew? That's not right at all."

Chicago police said no one is in custody. Area Two detectives are investigating the shooting.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.