KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Davon Williams is 19-years-old. The Kansas City native was back in town on spring break from San Diego State. He went there to play football.
“I came back and my whole life changed. I am a victim of a drive-by shooting,” he said. “They were in the neighborhood; two cars that were shooting at each other and I happened to be in the middle of it. I tried to duck, I tried to dodge, but I couldn't get away from the inevitable and I was being shot. I’ve been playing football since I was six-years-old and now I have to find a new alternative lifestyle.”
Davon has taken part in a campaign he hopes has an impact on our community. It’s a 30-second video, telling the stories of two crime victims in Kansas City. Both were shot, both survived and both lives are now changed forever.
Violence Free KC and Aim 4 Peace are helping roll out this campaign. Rashid Junaid with Aim 4 Peace said it’s one thing to show death, it’s another to show how trauma and violence impacts those who survive.
In 2017, Davon was one of 656 aggravated assault victims 18 or younger in Kansas City. That’s more than four times the number of homicides.
“Whether you’re hearing gunshots, it happens near your house, it traumatizes you, it traumatizes your kids, it’s happening to all of us,” Junaid said.
Junaid and Davon want to show how trauma lives on when the victim survives. They say if you can easily see it and identify it, maybe then you can stop it.
Davon Williams sometimes reflects on what could’ve been.
“Not being able to know what was next for me because I had my whole life planned out," said Davon. "Going to college and trying to be successful, and to get it taken away because of a senseless crime is crazy to me.”
Williams is determined to turn this latest setback into a setup. He now wants to be a physical therapist, which is why he’s determined to make the most out of his current physical therapy sessions. The teen wants to be a success story for his patients.
“You just have to look at the bright side of the picture, because life is like a revolving door and you have to make every opportunity count.”