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South Siders gather to remember slain 14-year-old boy


CHICAGO — Two days after 14-year-old RayJohn Harshaw was killed in a shooting near his South Side home, family, friends and his teachers gathered Monday to honor his life, on what should have been the first day of his freshman year.

“He had his bookbag packed y’all,” said Athena Harshaw, RayJohn’s aunt and legal guardian. “And he couldn’t make it because somebody so ruthless, so evil, so demonic decided to take his life and this hurts man; this isn’t right.”

According to the Chicago Police Department, officers were called to the 8700 block of South Cregier Avenue around 6:50 p.m. Saturday evening in the Calumet Heights neighborhood.

Police found a 14-year-old boy — later identified as RayJohn — who had been shot in the head and chest.

RayJohn was initially taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, but later succumbed to his injuries.

“Somebody walked up to him, took his cellphone,” Athena Harshaw said. “That wasn’t enough. You took his cellphone, and you shot my baby.”

Dozens released balloons in RayJohn’s honor Monday, while Dr. Danielle Porch — the principal of the school he attended from kindergarten to eighth grade — memorialized a young man gone too soon.

“I shared with the family, not only did they lose, but the world lost because he was destined to do amazing things in this world,” Porch said. “We will miss you, and this is a void that will not be filled. It’s just a tragic loss, and it’s so unnecessary.”

If you or someone you know has information that can help lead police toward making an arrest and conviction in the investigation of this incident, CPD encourages you to file an anonymous tip online at

“Whoever did this, please, I just want some justice for my child,” said Sharon Harshaw, RayJohn’s mother.

“He was an angel; now he’s a real angel,” said Shakiyla Wilborn, RayJohn’s cousin. “Now he’s really gonna be an angel because somebody snatched him away.”

Police have no one in custody.


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