Man Slain At His Own Birthday Party, Mother Speaks Out

A 43-year-old man was slain two hours into his own birthday celebration, and now friends and relatives are remembering him as a loving father and grandfather who was looked up to by others.

Everick Lavon Coleman had “a good heart” and would “give you the world,” according to his mother, Ceola Coleman. The victim’s mother was reached by phone on Sunday afternoon after which she prepared to identify the body of her son at the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

“It’s just hard to accept he’s gone, ” said 62-year-old Ceola, “He had lots and lots of friends and treated people very well.”

The incident occurred on August 7 when Coleman joined “part of the birthday crew” who were attending a block party in 1300 block of West Hastings Street in Chicago, where several people shared the same birthday. The party included roughly 200 guests, who began scattering when shots were fired around 2:20 a..m. Coleman was hit in the head and chest while a woman was also wounded.

Coleman of 2400 block of West Madison Street on the city’s Near West Side, was said to be dead on the scene at 2:42. The Chicago Tribune shares about the character of the victim who was fatefully shot.

“Coleman was divorced and had four adult daughters, one of whom is in the U.S. Navy. He was a ‘new grandfather’ too, said his mom, and had two young grandsons, both who turned 1 last month. ‘He was a good father and grandfather,’ his mother said.”

Coleman’s mother shares that her son, after taking business classes at Malcolm X College, was working in suburban real estate and also held down other part-time jobs as a cleaning supply salesperson and a security guard at a school. Everick also managed a few rap bands back in the 1990s and became involved in trying to start an organization to assist teenagers.

Mrs. Coleman, clearly baffled as to why anyone would harm her son, shared “People looked up to him. He was happy.”

Bystanders who attended the party and witnessed the scene, once the gunfire rang out, shared details they remember. One woman, who prefers to remain nameless, shares what she witnessed.

“I saw running, screaming, hollering. [I heard someone say] they’re going to shoot.”

The witness then says she heard three separate rounds of gunfire, and says someone had opened fire at the gathering that was dense and very crowded with people, sharing that Coleman was killed and a woman wounded. She continued stating she heard, “Bang, bang, bang, and then stop, bang, bang, bang, and then stop, bang, bang, bang, and then stop.”

Immediately following the shots being fired, the crowd became chaotic and frantic, causing police to radio in to report an emergency, resulting in officers swiftly getting to the block.

Coleman was taken directly to University of Illinois Medical Center just after he collapsed in the street to calm the crowd, yet a pool of the victim’s blood remained where he had succumbed to the bullet wounds.

The 40-year-old woman, who sustained gunshot wounds to the back of her arm, was taken to Stroger Hospital.

A party attendee by the name of Pat shares that the party began around 9 or 10 that evening and adds that it became so crowded that she decided to leave because she felt with so many people, something was bound to go wrong.

“It was packed out here. I figured it was only a matter of time until something goes.”

Chicago has experienced an increase in the number of deaths by gun violence in recent weeks, and this is just one more case that should inspire another look at amending gun laws in the United States.

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]