WEST PULLMAN — Dovone Jackson was “a homebody” who liked spending time with his 4-year-old daughter, his family said.
Jackson would take her for walks to the local corner store, where he’d pick up sunflower seeds and bubble gum — her favorites. On special occasions, he’d even grab nail polish.
“He just wanted to be a father to his daughter. That’s all he wanted to do,” said Jackson’s mother, Reba Askew, as tears streamed down her face Wednesday morning. “He was fighting with his baby mama, and they killed him. Someone in a car shot my baby."
On Monday night, Jackson, 23, was fatally shot in the 11700 block of South Normal Avenue — just a couple of blocks away from the West Pullman home he shared with his family.
Jackson had been hanging out with friends — talking and cracking jokes on a porch — when his ex-girlfriend (who is the mother of his child) drove down the block, witnesses said. Jackson’s daughter and a man were in the car.
“She rode past here, like, four times. She just kept riding past here,” a neighbor said.
Around 9 p.m. Monday, Jackson got into a verbal and physical fight with his ex-girlfriend, police said. After the argument ended, the man in the car pulled a gun about 9:17 p.m. and shot Jackson in his stomach, witnesses said. His daughter was still in the car.
Friend Leslie Buchanan, 21, ran to Jackson after the car sped away.
“He was telling me he couldn’t see. He couldn’t feel his legs,” Buchanan said. “He said, ‘Tell my mama I love her.’ I said, ‘Don’t say that. You’re not going nowhere.'”
Jackson was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was briefly stabilized after emergency surgery. His heart ultimately gave out overnight, relatives said, and he was pronounced dead at 6:12 a.m. Tuesday.
Police said no one was in custody Wednesday morning.
According to Askew, Jackson had had a tumultuous relationship with his ex-girlfriend “ever since he met her.” The two argued frequently about custody. Jackson wanted more time with his daughter, and the ex-girlfriend had made several threats, Askew claimed.
“She had told me to get my black dress ready,” said Askew, 42. “She told me that before.”
Askew said her son, who occasionally fixed roofs for a living, was a quiet man who kept to himself. He “just enjoyed his family" and “was a good dad.”
“Everybody couldn’t believe it was him out of all people. He didn’t do nothing to nobody,” Buchanan said Wednesday morning, as she gathered with friends and family outside a memorial.
“He was the sweetest person you’ll ever meet,” said Jesse Wiggins, a 22-year-old friend. “He was the same to everybody. Any time he had [something], if you asked him for it, he’d give it. ... He was always giving.”
Askew, a mother of three, said she’s struggling to organize a funeral and pay for a burial. Her middle son is incarcerated and won't be able to attend. And she worries that she’ll never see her granddaughter again.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do now. It’s like I lost two loved ones because I can’t deal with the baby mama. I can’t do it.
“I don’t even know where to start with this. But I’m going to do what I need to do to bury my baby.”