CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A father whose 14-year-old son was shot and killed Saturday is talking about what happened. This father says his son was planning to move out of the state this month to get away from gun violence.
14-year-old Elijha Booker was killed in the 1600 block of Hedge Road. A 17-year-old was also shot, but he’s doing okay.
No one has been arrested or charged. Police are still calling this a deadly shooting, instead of a murder or homicide. Elijha’s father, Nevalle Booker, says he misses his son dearly, but he’s trying to come to terms with what happened.
“I never thought in a million years, I never dreamed in my lifetime that I would have to bury a child of mine,” said Booker. “He was just a joy. My son was, my baby was a joy.”
That reality is something Booker’s learning to be at peace with, even if it’s not easy.
“That shouldn’t happen to nobody’s child, that should happen to no one’s child, no kind of way.”
Booker lives in Louisville, Kentucky. He was planning for Elijha to join him permanantly on Memorial Day weekend.
“There’s nothing really here for a lot here for the kids to do here in Champaign, as far as activity-wise, you know what I’m saying? Instead of going and playing with a gun.”
Booker says Elijah’s mother called to tell him the news.
“The tears would not stop falling, and I know they were tears of joy. The lord came and wrapped his arms around my baby and said he needed him more than I did.”
No one has been charged with his son’s death, but Booker doesn’t wish anything toward the person who fired the shot. He says it’s out of his hands.
Elijha had just celebrated his 14th birthday. He had three siblings. One of them, a 21-year-old, shares the same birthday as Elijha.
A 26-year-old was also shot just hours before Elijha. It happened just five minutes away on North James Street. He’s doing alright. Police say that shooting likely wasn’t related and wasn’t random.