CHICAGO — The shooting death of 9-year-old Jarvis Watts has been ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Chicago Police Department’s investigation originally began Sunday evening after Jarvis was found shot multiple times inside a Washington Heights home.
Police said there were multiple other children and family members present during the incident.
According to the police, the child was transported to Comer’s Childrens Hospital in critical condition where he was later pronounced dead.
It is still unclear who triggered the firearm and what the incident entailed. A firearm has not been recovered yet.
“It’s really sad because I did get to meet him,” said Shirley Smith, a neighbor of Jarvis and his family. “He was a sweet, little boy.”
Smith said Jarvis would help her with groceries and that he appeared to be a happy boy who loved playing outside and having fun.
“I would be at work, and I would see him on my [security] camera,” Smith said. ” [Jarvis and his family]’d be in the backyard playing and they would wave at me and I’d be like, ‘hey, hey!'”
Smith said knowing his life was taken and that opportunities like those are now gone make reality hard to stomach.
“I have small grandchildren and I can’t even imagine if something like that happened to one of them,” Smith said.
While police continue to investigate the incident, CPD Cmdr. Sean Joyce had a message for gun owners:
“If you’re going to be a gun owner in this city, please be a responsible gun owner and a responsible gun owner makes sure the gun is always secure and kept stored in an area that’s not accessible by children or others who should not have access to that firearm.”
Community activist Andrew Holmes also stressed the importance of taking measures to shield children from guns.
“I don’t care if you have a conceal and carry, carry that gun out of your house, away from these children. Our children are the ones being affected. Some can cause permeant damage, possibly losing their life.”
Police are interviewing others who were present in the home during the incident and no arrests have been made.
No other information is available at this time.