BY EMILY BROSIOUS AND KALEY FOWLER
Homicide Watch Chicago
Many Austin neighborhood youths considered area business owner Damion Bryant a role model, friends said.
“Everybody looked up to him,” said friend Deangelo Henderson. “All the young guys including myself looked up to him.”
Bryant, 32, was fatally shot in the head during a drive-by shooting outside his home in the 5200 block of West Quincy Street about 8 p.m. July 11, authorities said. Three other people were wounded in the shooting.
Rev. Joe Davis believes the attack that killed his friend was random or a case of mistaken identity because nobody would target Bryant, who he described as “just a regular guy” who stayed out of trouble. However, court records indicate Bryant had a pending drug and armed robbery case when he was killed.
Davis described Bryant as a family man with several children who had a close relationship with his mother and sisters. He also owned several stores in the neighborhood and would help young people find work, Davis said.
“If you needed help, he was the first to be there,” Davis said. “You never had to worry about him doing something for you then turning around and talking about it to someone else. He was just a good guy.”
Henderson said Bryant lived on a quiet block, and his death will have a noticeable impact on the community.
“He was just one of the good people that was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Henderson said. “A lot of people depended on him and he took care of a lot of people. Things will be different without him.”
Nobody has been charged for the murder. Area North detectives are investigating.