North Lawndale

‘He Was My Eyes:' Mom in Mourning After Son Killed in North Lawndale Mass Shooting

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A Chicago mother says she had called her son to ask him to come home on Wednesday evening. Just minutes later, he was shot and killed in the city’s North Lawndale neighborhood, leaving his mother to grapple with his shocking death and to ask the question of why.

Damarion Benson, 15, last spoke to his mother just before 6 p.m. Wednesday night. She asked him to come home.

“He was like ‘okay mom. I love you mom.’ That was the last conversation I had with my child,” she said.

Benson was one of 18 people who were shot in a series of mass shootings in the city on Wednesday. He was struck in the head when he was shot near the intersection of Douglas and Christiana just after 6 p.m., and he was later pronounced dead.

Now, his mother is left with one question on her mind: why her son?

“Why? Just why?” she asked. “Y’all trying to be God. Y’all not God. Why y’all take my baby’s life? He was only 15. He wasn’t perfect, but why?”

Brittany Benson says she was born with congenital glaucoma, so Damarion wasn’t just her eldest child.

Attorney General Merrick Garland visited Chicago Wednesday to launch a new federal strike force to battle gun trafficking, just hours after the city saw three mass shootings. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.

“He was my eyes,” she said. “If I needed him to sweep or mop or anything, he would do it. I have some sight, but not 20/20 vision, and I’m not able to drive or travel alone.”

Brittany says that her son loved to play basketball, listen to music, and to talk to girls. Now, he is one of a growing number of people who have been gunned down in the city this summer, in a surge in violence that city officials are scrambling to bring under control.

“There’s so many babies getting killed in Chicago,” she said. “The mayor and superintendent should have been on top of this.”

While officials are vowing action against gun traffickers, and in combating gun violence with investments in communities, Brittany says that it is too late for her son, but that they are still seeking justice for his killer.

“I want him to go to jail for the rest of his life,” she said. “Why can’t they bring back the death penalty? I want them to feel everything my son felt.”

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