ENGLEWOOD — After watching her son cling to life for more than three days, Jada Pearson made the decision to take her son off life support Friday.
She said doctors at Stroger Hospital told her that her son would never wake up after he was shot Tuesday, but she decided to hold on for a couple days.
"I was trying to have a little hope," Pearson said. "I couldn't handle it. It was hard for me."
Devonte Pearson, 20, was standing on the porch of his Englewood home Tuesday evening when shots rang out. Pearson was in her kitchen cooking. She said two of her sons ran inside following the shooting, but Devonte did not.
"So I started calling his name," Pearson said. "And my son went downstairs [to look], he was laying on the porch ... on his stomach."
Police said Pearson was on the porch in the 5700 block of South Carpenter Street about 8:40 p.m. when he was shot in his right shoulder. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:50 p.m. Friday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
The bullet that hit Pearson's shoulder severed his spine before becoming lodged in his skull, his mother said.
Family said a group of about 15 boys from the neighborhood were walking by the family's home Tuesday evening when they tried to start a fight with Pearson. They said Pearson refused to get involved, but someone in the group pulled out a gun and began firing.
Afterward, Jada Pearson said she told police about some Facebook posts made by local boys who had plans of "coming over to the 5-7 to shoot up the block," referring to the 5700 block of South Carpenter.
On Saturday, she stood outside her mother's home in Pullman, the neighborhood where Devonte and his three brothers grew up.
She was joined by several of Devonte's childhood friends who said they were still in disbelief about his death.
"I didn't believe it," said James Searcy, 20. "I was like 'Are you serious? Devonte Pearson? Are you sure you have the right person?'"
Friends described the 20-year-old as selfless, the sort of friend who would stick up for them no matter what the situation.
Enrico Gabino, 19, said Pearson had dreams of being a police officer or a graphic designer but also had a passion for hip-hop.
Gabino's twin brother, Enrique, said his friend had "potential."
"He may have been 20, but his life wasn't over," Gabino said. "20 years, that's too young. That's nothing but a fourth of your life."
Family said Pearson also spent time volunteering at a local church in Pullman.
The Rev. Marlon Jackson, who heads Christ Community Church in Pullman, said Pearson spent two days a week at the church.
"He always impressed me as a young man who had a willingness to achieve something in his life," Jackson said. "He wanted to be something."
Jackson said he was especially impressed that Pearson graduated from Corliss High School, despiteb some learning disabilities.
Jackson said he believes Pearson's death is yet another case of being "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"A bullet has no name on it," Jackson said.