SHONDELL DAVIS, MOTHER OF JOHNNY DAVIS
It was April vacation, and I was always scared about the kids during vacation because it always seemed like so many kids were always getting hurt. At the time I was working two jobs, so I wasn't going to be home until one o'clock in the morning, and I was trying to make arrangements for my daughter Josephina.
I remember coming down Blue Hill Ave, and Johnny was sitting in the car with me. He looked neat, like he'd just gotten his hair lined up. He told me that he was going to get his permit instead of coming with me, so I continued on to work. The next thing I knew, somebody called me on the phone and was saying, "Mom — Johnny's dead." I hung right up.
Then my phone wouldn't stop ringing. Everybody was running from hospital to hospital — it was chaotic. I remember them taking me down to this room and crying, and everyone felt like they couldn't help me unless they found out if this information was true. They ended up taking me to the emergency room because my breathing was getting short.
I left the hospital, and remember just driving around crying, and crying, and crying. Everybody was calling me, telling me to meet them — begging me — but I just drove around for hours. It was hurting so bad that I didn't know who to trust or where to go — I didn't want to be around any people. I just kept saying his name over and over again, and banging on the steering wheel.
People were calling me and telling me to not look at the paper. The pictures that they took of him were inappropriate, and in the statements that were made, they didn't specify how he was known to police. He was very structured before his father passed, but after that Johnny was in hospital after hospital for outpatient services. That's how he was known — we were trying to get him services to help him.
Online comments hurt a lot of people. People hear one side of a story and just assume the worst kind of things because it's Mattapan, Dorchester, or Roxbury. But people should think before they say those things, because it could be their family members. It could be them. I don't think that I'll ever be healed. I struggle every day. I don't know how the community just sits back. For me it never goes away.