EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Full of energy, laughing, and playing his video games is how loved ones said they’re remembering Deshawnteris Edwards, 12, a.k.a “Bubba.”
“He was just a really great kid,” Jerome Ware, Edwards’ godfather, said. “He was not shy to introduce himself to anybody and if you wanted to get to know him, he’d make sure you got to know him, every detail.”
“He was like a radio show, he just wouldn’t stop talking,” Ware joked. “He was not afraid of anything.”
Every detail, the good, the bad, and the loud is what Ware said he, his wife Tori, and their kids miss about their godson and at one point their foster son.
“I miss his presence, his character,” Ware said. “A great character, you know, if you think of Bubba, if you know who he really is you just see a character in your head and you’re like ‘yeah, that’s him.”
Ware said Deshawnteris lived with them on and off for his entire life.
He said he was only in the 12-year-old’s life for about the past 8 years, but said his wife Tori first started taking care of Deshawnteris when he was about three months old.
Although the couple said Deshawnteris went to live with his birth mother a few years ago, they said he was still a member of their household in East Peoria.
“Honestly, I just wish he was home,” Ware said. “I wish this was his home and I wish he was here. If it wasn’t for him going back to school, he’d honestly probably still be living here.”
Ware said, while living with them, Deshawnteris virtually attended East Peoria’s Central Junior High last school year, but switched over to Trewyn Middle School in Peoria when he went back to living with his birth mother.
He said Deshawnteris wanted to be a professional gamer.
“Every day, all day he was on that game and he was really good at it,” Ware said. “Like, professionally good. I had high hopes for him of actually growing up and following his dream.”
But his dream was cut short last Wednesday morning, July 21.
The Peoria Police Department, Peoria Fire Department, and Advanced Medical Transport members responded to a house in the 3000 block of W. Seibold regarding a report of someone shot. There, officers said they found Edwards with life-threatening injuries.
He was taken to the hospital unresponsive, not breathing, and with no pulse. Despite resuscitation efforts, he was pronounced dead in the ER. The autopsy demonstrated he suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and likely died instantly, and his death is being investigated as a homicide.
Police arrested two people regarding the still-ongoing investigation.
Karon Schuch, Edwards’ mother, was arrested for obstruction of justice and four counts of endangering the health or life of a child. She was released, Saturday, on a $160 bond and is due in court on Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.
Officers also arrested a 15-year-old juvenile for reckless discharge of a firearm, reckless conduct, and unlawful possession of a handgun under 21.
Now, trying to pick up the pieces, Ware said they created a GoFundMe to try to pay for funeral costs and to properly lay their godson to rest.
“No child should deserve to go through this in their lifetime,” Ware said. “He’s dearly, truly, deeply loved by everybody in this house, everybody in this family, and everybody that ever crossed his path.”
“He will be missed forever and won’t be forgotten,” Ware said.