Accomplice to Murder Had No Heroes, No Inspiration - NBC Chicago

Accomplice to Murder Had No Heroes, No Inspiration

Kevin Jones supplied the gun that killed Blair Holt in 2007



    Kevin Jones retells the unfortunate events that led to the 2007 murder of Blair Holt and how he supplied the gun that led to Blair's death. (Published Wednesday, June 9, 2010)

    Heroes often come easily for young children. They can be sports stars, a musical performer or a mother or a father.

    But Kevin Jones can’t remember a single soul that inspired him.

    From the moment he was born, his life has had limitations.

    Kevin Jones is currently serving time at Dixon Correctional Center for his role in a violent moment that changed how many in Chicago began to view what is happening on city streets.

    It was May 10, 2007 when 16-year-old Blair Holt was shot and killed on a Chicago Transit Authority bus as he was on his way home from school. Four other students were wounded.

    The gun that shot them all belonged to then 15-year-old Kevin Jones.

    "I grew up in the Dearborn Homes, at 29th and State," Jones says as he begins the narrative of his life story.

    His mother, he says, was on drugs.

    "I knew she was on drugs, you know what I’m saying, when I was a baby, when I came out of her womb," he says as he sits in a small prison interview room.

    He has no idea where his father is.

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    Jones was a Fenger High School freshman, living with a foster mom at 104th and Aberdeen when the shooting took place.

    His head, he acknowledges, was not in the classroom, but on the street, where he was a member of the Black P. Stone Nation street gang. He joined when he was 10 or 11 years old, he recalls, and got his first gun at age 14.

    It was a .40 caliber handgun gun purchased through a gang connection, he said.

    On the afternoon of May 10, 2007, Kevin Jones was on his bike. His friend Michael "Mario" Pace was on foot and in the middle of a dispute with members of his own gang.

    Jones gave Pace his gun and momentarily left.

    "It was like man, stay right here. Don’t do nothing dumb with this gun," he recalls.

    When he returned to the area at 103rd street a few minutes later, he said there was no one around. He phoned a friend.

    "They told me Michael jumped on the bus and shot the bus, shot the bus up," Jones says. "And I looked at the news. That’s when I found somebody had got shot."

    Five innocent teenagers were shot. Among them was Blair Holt, who'd thrown his body over another a classmate in an effort to protect her.

    Blair was 16. He loved to read. He wrote music. He volunteered. When the shooting began, he placed his body over a classmate’s in order to protect her.

    Blair was the only child of Ron and Annette Holt, who often speak publicly of the sorrow that remains.

    "Everyday we think about him. And it’s really hard, I mean, losing your child in such a violent way, especially if your child is such a good child," Annette Holt told a group of college kids.

    Jones says he didn't know Blair Holt, but said he understands the pain caused the day.

    So why did he give Michael Pace the gun?

    "I gave him the gun," Jones says after a long pause, "I really didn’t want to give it to him but it was for him to be safe.”

    If Michael Pace had shot the guy he was really intending to shoot and killed him, would he feel a sense of sorrow about that guy dying?

    "No. He was on the same path we was on," Jones says bluntly. "Blair Holt he was going to school. He was fixing to graduate that year."

    Jones was sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder. Michael Pace was sentenced to 100 years in prison.

    Jones says he would like to write a book about his life and to that end is pursuing his GED in prison, adding, "Without no education you ain’t nothing."

    The reality is that at the age of 18, Kevin Jones is a man-child, with a foot in each uncertain world.

    "More of a young man, not no kid. More of a young man, than a man right now. but I’m changing than what I used to be,” he says.

    Blair Holt's father, a veteran police officer, on Tuesday was appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to head Chicago's Alternative Policing Program.