Delmonte Johnson, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, was one of the many teenagers across this nation who had been personally impacted by gun violence.
Earlier this year, he joined the group GoodKids MadCity, a group led by young people of color that was founded in the wake of the Parkland school shooting in February, according to the Chicago Tribune and ABC7 Chicago.
The group fought for more resources, including mental health treatment, in underserved communities.
But on Wednesday night, Johnson, who just turned 19, was outside his brother’s basketball practice when he was shot in the chest and stomach around 7:30 p.m. CT.
“He was getting ready to get a fundraiser going for the kids so they could go on a Christian camping trip,” his mother, Onique Walker, said at a vigil on Thursday. “My son, oh, God… I’m gonna miss my baby.”
David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting and anti-gun violence activist, tweeted his condolences to Johnson and his family.
Delmonte Johnson was a 19-year-old who worked with @GKMC18 as an activist to end gun violence in Chicago,
last night he was shot to death.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) September 6, 2018
Johnson’s brother, Devirgo Johnson, held his brother and tried to keep him alive after the shooting.
“I lay next to my brother as he was dying in my hands,” his brother, Devirgo told ABC 7. “My coach text me and said ‘I need you to come to Jessie Owens Park to come and practice with me at 6 o’clock. Ten minutes, 20 minutes later, I turn around and he gone. Five minutes later, his friend that was with him ran back in there and came and got me.”
In a video, Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) said she had just seen Johnson at an event a few days prior.
“He was clearly a young man committed to stopping the violence, ending the plague in our community,” she said. “The same violence that ultimately took his life. I share your grief, your frustration, your sadness, and your anger. This violence must end. We are losing a generation of young people.”
Overall, homicides and shootings in Chicago are down this year compared to last year, but the statistics are still staggering — 381 people have died and 2,074 people have been shot due to gun violence in Chicago. In one weekend last month, 58 people were shot.
“I’m not surprised that something like this has taken place, because unfortunately, he’s one of many people that this has happened to here,” Carlil Pittman, 25, a leader in GoodKids MadCity, told the New York Times. “But to think that a young person who was out there trying to fight this issue was taken down by this issue is really heartbreaking.”