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Illinois

Two teens arrested in ‘robbery, homicide’ of openly gay student

Family says murder was an anti-gay hate crime
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CHICAGO — Two teens have been arrested in the murder of an openly gay high school student in what police are ruling a “robbery-turned-fatal-shooting,” while the victim’s family are calling it an anti-gay hate crime.

Terrance “Jawan” Wright, 18, a senior at Banner Academy South High School, was killed on October 19 just blocks from his school while walking home that afternoon.

According to police investigators, Wright was approached by five would-be robbers who attempted to rummage through his backpack and pockets; but when Wright fought back, he was shot in the chest.

Terrance “Jawan” Wright
Family photo.

Jarone Carter, 16, has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, said Andrew Conklin, a spokesman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

A 14-year-old boy has also been charged with the murder but his name has not been released because he is being tried as a juvenile.

According to a police report, the 14-year-old boy was identified as the suspected gunman who shot Wright and caused his death.

While authorities are calling the attack a robbery-motivated homicide, Wright’s family claims his death wasn’t about money or valuables.

“I believe they only did that to him because he was gay,” said Javone Wright, 16, Jawan’s younger brother.

Wright’s uncle, Tywan Bouldin, said Jawan was bullied both inside and outside school, and that the robbery theory is wrong because Wright had nothing of value on him when he was killed.

“For them to say it was a robbery is foolishness because like I said what are they going to rob him of? School supplies or books? His shoes or his clothes. He don’t wear stuff like that. So what was the point?” he asked.

Bouldin said his nephew was shot because he was gay, and wants the crime investigated as a hate crime.

It’s not the first time Jawan’s sexual orientation was an issue, said Essie James, Jawan’s grandmother, told WGN-TV. Last year, Jawan transferred to Banner Academy, after being picked on at his last school. But, she said, the bullying continued.

“I was told the boys were picking on Jawan, Jawan was on his way home and the boys just started picking on him and calling him names so they tried to take Jawan’s book bag. So then Jawan and the boys got to fighting.”

“That’s when police say one of the boys pulled out a gun and killed Jawan.

Jawan would have had his 19th birthday on Oct. 28.

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21 more reader comments:

  1. There’s nothing to like about this but I’m glad they were caught.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:12pm
  2. Smh. Let’s hope they tried as adults!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:13pm
  3. Sad and devastating.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:14pm
  4. this is so sad…

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:17pm
  5. To the gallows with them

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:17pm
  6. No words. Just read this with tears in my eyes. Smh.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:21pm
  7. Jawan looks like a young Steve Atkinson…19 is way too young

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:28pm
  8. If the police or state do not treat this as a gate crime, things like this will escalate. Enough is enough.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:28pm
  9. Hate crime. Sorry!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:29pm
  10. legit hate crime

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:39pm
  11. GOD IS GOOD!! thank yu JESUS NOW WONDER GOD SAID VENGES IS HIS…..NOW THE CONCEQUENCES I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL….becuz my brother in the LORD PARENTS IS HURTING ….

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:40pm
  12. What a shame. It’s time to get the propaganda machine rolling in the name of anti-hate…..

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 11:07pm
  13. my heart is heavy…my thoughts are with the Wright family

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 11:26pm
  14. praying for the family who lost their son..brother..nephew..uncle. My condolences to the family. May justice be done to the ones who committed this crime and MAY THEY ROT IN HELL!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 11:29pm
  15. Rip…..

    Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 1:17am
  16. I certainly hope hate crime statutes will be called into play. There is no excuse for the two boys who did this. None.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 3:37am
  17. Make it crime kill LBGT person

    Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 5:06am
  18. Not only just LGBT, but killing people is already a crime.
    I really believe in “death penalty.”
    When a person kills somebody, he must be killed/executed, this is what I think. Because they have taken away someone’s life, and then why can be be alive? Just staying in jail is nothing to me. If I were killed by somebody, I want them to be dead as well.
    “Murder” is the worst thing.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 7:11am
  19. What did they get out of this senseless act except a prison sentence?

    Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 9:33am
  20. god i really hate homophobs i REALLY HATE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 1:02pm
  21. Wow. How messed up!

    Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 7:17pm