Evanston police say Dajae Coleman died a victim of mistaken identity.
Police say the events leading to his death started with a party on McDaniel Avenue in northwest Evanston Saturday night attended by about 150 young people.
Police say a parent was present at the party and there was no sign of illegal underage drinking — but when two girls at the party got into a fight, the parent told all the party-goers to leave sometime about 10 p.m.
As groups of young people started walking home, other fights broke out and one group of youths got into a fight with a relative of Wesley Woodson III.
That relative, police say, called Woodson to complain, and said the youths who he’d been fighting with were walking eastbound past Evanston Township High School on Church Street.
Meanwhile police had been drawn into the area just east of the high school after shots were fired there — but no one was hit.
As 14-year-old Dajae Coleman walked with friends in the 1500 block of Church Street, police say Woodson, seeking revenge for his relative, grabbed a 9mm handgun and left his home at 1706 Ashland Ave.
Just a block or so away, when he saw the group Coleman was walking with, he mistakenly assumed they were the ones who’d been in the fight with his relative.
Words were exchanged and then, police say, Woodson fired four shots, one of which entered Coleman’s back and exited through his chest, leaving him to die at the scene.
Cmdr. Jay Parrott says several witnesses were able to identify Woodson as the man they saw firing the shots.
Police say Woodson is involved with the Gangster Disciples street gang has prior arrests for unlawful use of a weapon and for a drug law violation. He also reportedly was the victim in a shooting incident earlier this year.
He was arrested at home Wednesday, and police say he’s declined to make any statement about the incident.
The gun used in the crime has not yet been recovered.
Woodson has been ordered held without bond on first degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm charges and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 30.