When Children Kill Children: Boy, 11, Is Wanted in Chicago
By DON TERRY
Published: September 01, 1994
Someone stepped out of the shadows between two storefront churches on the city’s far South Side the other night and started shooting wildly at a knot of teenagers playing football.
When the gunfire stopped, a 14-year-old girl lay dead, killed by a bullet apparently meant for someone else. At first, the shooting appeared to be another senseless, though increasingly common, story of an innocent slaughtered in the street.
But the slaying of Shavon Dean has become more than that. It has shaken this city and made many here fear for the future, not because of the victim’s tender years but because of the even younger age of her suspected killer, an 11-year-old boy.
The suspect, who police say belongs to a gang, stands 4-foot-8, sports a tattoo that says “I love mommy” and has an arrest record that could belong to a middle-age thug.
And ever since the shooting last Sunday night, the boy has eluded the police and their growing child-hunt.
“This is a tragedy for everybody on both sides,” Shavon’s aunt, Ida Falls, said today. “That boy is 11 years old. He don’t know no better. The gangs tell him what to do and he does it. He’s just a child, a child that killed a child.”
The boy, who has not been identified by the police because of his age, lived around the corner from Shavon and is known in the neighborhood for causing trouble. He is also a suspect in the shooting and wounding of a teen-age boy earlier on Sunday in another skirmish in what seems like a never-ending gang war here.
But gunplay and funerals are not confined to big cities and their street gangs. In the apple-growing community of Wenatchee, Wash., about 160 miles east of Seattle, two 12-year-old boys were recently accused of killing a 50-year-old migrant farm worker.
The boys, the police say, shot the man 18 times with two stolen pistols after he told them to stop making noise and, they boys said, threw a rock at them.
In each case, the common thread is the ability of children to get their hands on guns.
Shavon Dean lived in a working-class neighborhood of single-story homes with neat lawns. But so much gunfire had rattled the area in the days leading up to her slaying, residents say, that most parents were telling their children to stay on their tree-shaded street — where it was supposed to be safe. One of the churches on 108th Street had even erected a curbside basketball hoop so that teen-agers on the block would not have to go to school to play and risk being caught in a crossfire.
“When I was coming up,” said Kenneth Reed, 22, “I had role models, somebody to look up to. It ain’t that way any more. Now, you look up to the person with the biggest gun.”
The 11-year-old boy wanted in Shavon’s death has the kind of scarred personal background often associated with later violence.
“This is a tragic, tragic case” the Cook County Public Guardian, Patrick T. Murphy, who represents children and the elderly in the courts, said today. “This is a kid who has had nothing going for him his entire life.”
The boy grew up amid gangs, drugs and rising unemployment. Mr. Murphy said the boy’s mother was 15 when she first gave birth; she was 18 when he was born. Martha Allen, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, said that when the boy’s mother was 21 he and four of his siblings were taken from her because of neglect and, in the cold code of bureaucracy, “risk of harm.”.
The boy and his siblings were placed in the custody of their grandmother, who is now 46. She told The Chicago Sun-Times: “They are lying that he is supposed to have done some shooting. He’s a nice kid, until he gets with the wrong group.” ‘A Time Bomb‘
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I have to tell the story, of Robert”Yummy Sandifer as the victim, but also as the murderer. The life of Shavon Dean’s life ended while walking home with her cousin. She is a the catalyst that started the nightmare on Roseland. Robert Yummy Sandifer Story has been the story that kept me out at night.This story is embedded in my life forever. Shavon’s life was important, but she also is a ghost of Gang Violence.She lost her life, sadly on one somber night that will remain a part of mournful history.During The black night, on the lonely heavily destructive neighborhood of Rosewood, Yummy shot and killed Shavon Dean. We know that is a common gang ridden area in Chicago, Illinoise.Robert “Yummy” Sandifer decided he wanted to be a full fledge member of “The Black Gangster Disciples.” After he shot in the crowd, and wounded some, Shavon wasn’t as lucky.Here is a link to the story.
Now Shavon Dean will be a reminder of senseless gang violence. You will always live in a world of money, evil, and manipulation. Both children died the same week because of a Gang. No one lived long enough to enter High School. The Hardaway brothers are now in prison, since teens. The streets if Chicago, are still a gang nightmare for all of the residents, that just want peace. Shavon entered the dirt, and so did “Yummy.”They are laying in a casket, and resting before even entering puberty. I have reached a decision that its time to find the man that ordered the hit on Robert Yummy Sandifer life. Who told the 11 year old boy to even shoot in the crowd. Who ordered Yummy’s Hit on His Life?
Theses children preceded the beautiful little Angel, Johnylah Watkins!
It’s time to give Shavon Dean justice, and Robert Yummy Sandifer’s death can finally be avenged. It’s time to locate the gang member that ordered Robert Yummy Sandifer’s life.
How many babies, teens, and Shavon Dean’s have to enter eternal sleep, before we say no to gang violence? When will it end? Thank God there is no Statue Of Limitations for murder.
Please find the bastard that decided that a child’s life meant nothing.