“I’m just blessed to be here” Man shot at back-to-school event in East Garfield Park recovering in hospital

Chicago News

CHICAGO — 25-year-old Davonte Watkins is recovering at a Chicago hospital nearly a week after being shot following a back-to-school event in East Garfield Park at which he helped organize and performed in.

As the event wound down at the 2900 block of West Fulton Street, someone in a red SUV opened fire on the crowd, striking Watkins and his friend’s two children, a 12-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl.

“I had stomach surgery, was shot two times in the stomach, in my liver, my lungs, my kidney. I’m just blessed to be here,” Watkins said.

When Watkins got out of surgery, he learned that his friend’s children had gotten shot as well. Both of them survived their injuries.

“Let the kids live. It’s not fair to the kids. We grew up without our fathers, kids growing up without life. Let them live,” Watkins said.

On Friday, Chicago police announced a new strategy to help tackle gangs and guns citywide.

“We’re going after gangs, that’s the top line for this presser. We’re going after gangs,” CPD Supt. David Brown said.

Part of the strategy includes redistributing Community Safety Team officers to specific units within the department, with Supt. Brown describing it as a precision approach.

“Gangs are out of control in this city, we’re going after them to hold them accountable,” Brown said.

Thus far, there has been no accountability in Watkins’ case.

“I have no idea who shot from the car,” Watkins said.

Watkins agrees he was likely the intended target of the shooter, but added that he doesn’t know why. He said his only goal going forward is to help his community become a better place.

“I don’t seek revenge on no one, my revenge is moving my kids to a better place and continue to make music. Continue to give back and continue to try to be a leader to the community,” Watkins said.

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