Family seeks justice 1 year after shooting kills mother, badly injures her teenage son on West Side

Liz Nagy Image
Saturday, May 11, 2024
Family seeks justice 1 year after mom fatally shot, son badly injured
A Chicago shooting left Nicole Watson dead and her son badly injured in the 2300 block of West Van Buren Street on May 9, 2023.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The people who loved Nicole Watson most in this world filled the very same West Side parking space where the young mother was gunned down alongside her teenage son, Jacob, 366 days prior.

Jacob was badly injured, but survived. Nicole's siblings, mother, and father somehow survived a year of firsts -- birthdays and occasions -- without her.

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"Beyond hell. Losing my child. I haven't recovered," said Paul Watson, Nicole's father.

Of all the agony the Watson family has endured, nothing, her father says, has been harder than watching his grandson suffer in the hospital.

"When I walk in the room with Jacob, I could not let him see the pain that I was in," Paul said.

What cuts even deeper is what they say is a lack of accountability.

"Well, the police said they have got to a point where they don't expect to solve it," Paul said.

Nicole had just picked up her son from his grandmother's house on May 9, 2023, when her family says gang crossfire cut through the complex's fence, hitting both of them.

It happened in the 2300 block of West Van Buren Street in the Near West Side neighborhood.

"Because my daughter and her son was in the middle of that, it's like, 'We don't know who was shooting at who,' or where it was from," Paul said.

At 44 years old, the mother had just proudly graduated with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

"Lord, we're asking you to bring justice to the family, asking you to bring healing to the family," a pastor at Friday's vigil said.

Left with just their memory of her, Nicole's family hopes healing comes with an arrest for her killer.

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