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"An old soul. A beautiful boy": Racine homicide victim remembered

Friends and family are mourning a 20-year-old Racine man, who was gunned down Sunday night.

DeShaun Jordan was killed in an ally near 16th Street and Phillips Avenue, as he walked home from a fish fry with four others. On Tuesday 17-year-old Rytrell Earl was charged with killing Jordan.

Meanwhile the ally where Jordan died, is now a tribute to the life he lived. Friends are writing messages, leaving flowers and balloons in his memory.

“He was always there for me,” said Faith Penza, a friend of the victim. “He was a really good friend. If I needed him, needed a ride, needed him to do anything for me, he would just drop everything.”

According to the criminal complaint, Jordan was randomly targeted.

“It’s just sad,” Penza said. “[He was] In the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Police say surveillance video showed Earl, a known gang member driving in the ally. Earl told police he thought someone in Jordan’s group had a gun so he started shooting. No one in Jordan’s group ever fired a weapon. According to the criminal complaint, when Earl asked detectives who was killed, police told him “the person he killed was not a gang member.”

Friends want the tributes on the ally wall to tell everyone who the victim really was.

“He loved to play basketball, loved to rap,” said Corey Chambliss, a friend of the victim. “Just was a person that stayed to himself and kept a smile on his face.”

One of DeShaun’s former teachers, Jill Swanson, who had DeShaun in her World History class, says she’s devastated.

“It's absolutely terrible and I am completely heartbroken,” Swanson said.

Swanson says DeShaun had a lot on his plate: his mother passed away years ago and he cared for his grandfather. Still, she says he kept his head up.

“He helped kids who struggled with the book work,” Swanson said. “He was an old soul. A beautiful boy.”

Earl’s bond was set at $500,000 cash. He will be back in court August 24.

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