Over a month after Oak Park River Forest High School alumnus Edjuan “EJ” Wilson was killed after exiting the Subway 5973 W. Madison Street in Austin, the teenager’s family is urging anyone with information about the perpetrators to come forward.
Wilson, who lived in Oak Park at the time of his death, was shot on Feb. 13 at 5:25 p.m. According to the Chicago Sun-Times wire report, he was shot in the chest and leg at 5:25 p.m. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, but died of his injuries.
On March 31, Wilson’s family, their supporters and some police officers walked around the 5900 block of Madison Street, handing out fliers and taping posters asking for any information connected to the case.
Wilson’s aunt, Chinyera Moody, said that, while the Chicago Police Department has the video footage of the incident and potential suspects, the family hasn’t seen any progress on the case.
According to his obituary, Wilson was the one of Ed and Helena Wilson’s four children. He played football and basketball at OPRF, graduating in 2019. The obituary also mentioned that he took part in several fundraising walks and runs, mentored his fellow students and volunteered at WVON radio station. Wilson was attending Malcolm X College and, according to Moody, was trying to become a rapper.
The funeral service program reprinted a poem Wilson wrote at age 14, where he promised to “stop being silly and be more responsible” and learn “how to be a leader, to never follow others who make bad decisions” for his own sake and for the sake of his family.
Community activist Anthony Clark, who was one of Wilson’s teachers, set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the family cover the funeral expenses. In the campaign description, Clark wrote that he “never met someone like EJ, who always could make me smile and lift my spirits.”
Moody said that around 100 people attended the vigil in the wake of her nephew’s death, which, she said, showed how much impact he had on others.
Wilson’s family members said while getting justice for Wilson doesn’t take away the pain and the sense of loss, it would at least bring them some sense of closure.
“This is a senseless, tragic situation,” said Ed Wilson. “[Dealing with my son’s death] has been hard, but we’re here, trying to [ensure] justice for my son, because he didn’t deserve it. He was a vibrant, happy person. I just want justice, justice for my son.”
Moody said that, while she appreciates the support her family got from the South Austin community, “we really want people to talk.”
“It’s really hard to live in the city, in the same community where your loved one was taken,” she said.
While Moody maintained composure through most of the interview, she got choked up when she talked about what her nephew meant to her.
“I don’t have children, but he was like my own child,” she said. “He was not given an opportunity to live out his life, to become a man. It feels like the worst violation, to have him taken from us. The only consolation is if we bring the [perpetrators] to justice.”
Anyone with the information about Wilson’s death should call CPD Area 4 detectives at (312) 746-8252. To contribute to the GoFundMe page, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-loving-memory-of-edjuan-ej-wilson.