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Jesse White Tumblers hit by double tragedy

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Two members of the Jesse White Tumblers became victims of violence in unrelated incidents. One was fatally shot outside a Chicago mall and the other was stabbed near a CTA stop.

Willie Williams III was shot and killed in a parking lot outside the Ford City theaters Saturday. Police do not have anyone in custody in the shooting. Another tumbler, Allen Survillion was stabbed at a CTA stop late Saturday. Survillion's family says there has been an arrest in the stabbing.

The Jesse White Tumblers thrive with a unique brand of aerial acrobatics, and a supportive atmosphere that helps these young men strive to be their best. Tonight the secretary of state is devastated and angry.

"These two gentlemen spent a lot of time trying to improve their skills so they could be good performers and good people. And yet they fall victim at the hands of someone who did not have a love in their heart for their fellow man," said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

The first incident happened early Saturday outside the Ford City theaters. Williams, 17, was shot in the head and killed. Just two months earlier, he told his mother he had a disturbing dream. "He said 'I had a dream, mama.' I said, 'What did you dream about?' 'I dreamed a got shot in the head,'" said Indira Rutues, Williams' mother.

Late Saturday, on the "L" platform at Austin and the Eisenhower expressway, 16-year-old Allen Survillion, a sophomore Michelle Clark Prep, was laughing with his girlfriend when a man who apparently thought they were laughing at him stabbed him, damaging his kidney, intestines, and stomach.

"You can only imagine how you would feel if someone was to call you and tell you that your son has been stabbed and you need to get to the trauma unit as soon as possible. There's a lot of things that go through your mind," said Allen Survillion, the victim's father.

Both young men had been Jesse White Tumblers since they were 8 or 9. Their mothers are livid with the disregard for human life.

You could have hit him or anything. Why would you pull a knife and stab a child?" said Demetrus Survillion, Allen Survillion's mother.

"When you shoot somebody, you're taking a life. You're affecting the whole family," said Indira Rutues, Williams' mother.

Willie Williams family donated six of his organs. And according to Allen's father, the suspect in his son's case has been caught and is currently awaiting charges. Allen is in critical condition tonight and will undergo more surgery Tuesday morning at 9:00.

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