Neighbors grieve boy, 9, shot in possible play accident newstrendslive

The shooting death of a 9-year-old boy in Washington Heights Sunday evening may have been the result of a gun firing while the boy and several other children were playing, Chicago police said.

Police have not publicly said how Jarvis M. Watts was shot or how many times he was shot, but family members told officers Jarvis had been playing with a gun when it happened, about 6:30 p.m. in 9400 block of South Wallace Street, police reports show.

Meanwhile, a Monday autopsy determined Jarvis died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Jarvis and five other children between the ages of 2 and 10, including at least one sibling, were in the home when his mother had told the children to change their clothing, according to a police report. As she sat in the kitchen, she heard “loud screams” and that’s when she saw her son come down the stairs, calling for her before he collapsed face down on the living room floor, the report said.

Another woman in the home said heard a “loud pop” and called 911 after seeing Jarvis on the floor, suffering wounds to his face, neck and hand, according to the report. He was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:49 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

Family members told police they did not know there was a gun in the home and it was never found.

Police tape remains outside a home in the 9400 block of South Wallace Street on Jan. 2, 2023 where Jarvis Watts was shot and killed the previous night.

On Monday, the house where Jarvis was shot appeared quiet with holiday stickers visible in its windows as neighbors grieved nearby.

Next door to the boy’s house, a woman said she remembered Jarvis helping her carry groceries inside. The boy played with her grandchildren sometimes, she said.

A neighbor two doors down said he was sick after hearing the news. He had long seen the boy play football outside. The boy was good, he added.

“I’m hurt, in pain,” said the neighbor, who declined to share his name.

Across the street, neighbor Frances Matthews recalled her son, who has special needs, playing basketball with Jarvis.

“I just feel so sorry for the baby,” Matthews said. “He still had a whole life ahead of him.”

Her son cried when he heard that his friend had died, she said.

Chicago police officers investigate the scene where Jarvis Watts was fatally shot inside a home in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Jan. 1, 2023.

There hadn’t been any issues in the area before, she said. The home Jarvis was shot in sits directly across the street from Kipling Elementary School.

“He enjoyed his family, enjoyed playing around the neighborhood, was very respectful,” Matthews said.

Police are investigating the fatal shooting and do not have anyone in custody, officers said.

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