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"Everybody loved Dajae"

“Everybody loved Dajae,” said Tiffany Rice, mother of Dajae Coleman, as she sat opposite me on an unseasonably warm and sunny afternoon at Curt's Cafe South back in March 2016.

I had arrived early. I was anxious. I had never met Tiffany. And until last week, I had never sat face-to-face over a cup of coffee and a tuna sandwich to ask a fellow ETHS mother how she felt when she got the news that her son had been shot and killed near our children’s school. Would I cry? Would she? Would my questions hurt or offend her?

I had two teenagers then —a sophomore at ETHS and a 2015 graduate. Dajae was a Freshman with just one month of high school under his belt.

I couldn't help but try to picture how I would feel if I were on Tiffany’s side of the cafe table.

You can read the interview here.

Tonight marks nine years since Dajae Coleman, just 14 years old, was shot and killed. As almost every Evanstonian knows, Dajae was leaving a party with a group of friends at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 22, 2012, when he was shot in the back by 20-year-old Wesley Woodson, III.

Gun violence in Evanston. Not much has changed.

What will it take to stop it?


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