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Harry Jr., 20, was shot to death outside a home in the 600 block of North Memorial Drive on May 7. David, 19, is in jail and was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office on Monday with pointing a gun at someone on Sunday. Meanwhile, Racine Police are searching for Dominique I. Knight, the man suspected of shooting Harry Jr.
Her emotions are running high. She just buried Harry Jr. on Saturday and now David is facing more felony charges. Angry with Knight and a friend, Wooden is still anchored in her faith in God. But she struggles to reconcile what has happened to her family and wants to see counseling offered by the community to help families of gun violence.
“My heart is so broken,” Tanya wrote on Facebook. “My children are my life … Harry Jr. wasn’t dangerous or wouldn’t hurt nobody. He didn’t deserve this nor should we. His sisters, brother and I have to live with this pain — losing my son, a brother, cousin. (This) is the worst pain that can ever be inflicted on anyone. The second is having to watch my other children hurt because of the selfish destructive choices you made….”
Harry Jr.’s Loyalty
Harry Jr. was different. He had bowed legs and wore leg braces at a young age. He defied doctors’ expectations that he would never walk. This didn’t stop him from playing basketball, football, or spending hours tinkering with cars and fixing gadgets.
Known for having an old soul, Harry Jr. often took responsibility for others by making sure his family was fed, and fixing their cars and gadgets. He was about loyalty and often would call his sisters to make sure they had enough food. He didn’t hold grudges. And he would often be the peacemaker in his family if there was an argument.
“He was a gentle giant,” Wooden said. “You would never catch him without a smile on his face. People that knew him knew that he wouldn’t hurt anyone. And if something was broke, he would fix it.”
In high school, Harry Jr. dreamed of playing basketball for the NBA. But after graduating from Park High School in 2014, he stayed to help his mother who was taking care of his grandmother in Missouri. He also had goals, he wanted to repair old luxury cars and sell them, and he had a plan for making those goals happen.
“He wanted us to vacation and see the world,” she said. “He had plans to go to India and Europe. He also wanted his nephew to have things easier.”
Homicide Victim Called A Gentle Giant
So when Wooden got the call that Harry Jr. was shot while standing on a friend’s porch talking on his phone, his family finds it unbelievable that he is gone.
Wooden’s phone rang immediately after the shooting. She raced to the emergency room at Ascension-All Saints Hospital to find out what had happened to Harry. And she was turned away by the police, who initially told her that that he wasn’t there yet.
Harry Jr. was still in the ambulance in front of the house. His father, Harry Sr., was banging on the ambulance door, begging them to let him ride in the ambulance with him. But they were still working on Harry Jr. He later died at the hospital.
Because of the volatility of the situation and the pending death investigation, Wooden and her family weren’t allowed inside the hospital. Police informed Wooden outside the hospital that her son had died. She begged to see him.
“I was grieving angry. What do you do with those emotions?” she said. “I was able to change them later, but at the time I was emotional and angry. I begged them and begged. I had behaviors I didn’t know I had. In my family, I’m known as the peacemaker… I just wanted to see my son and I had to learn about his death in the entryway of a hospital.”
Since Harry Jr.’s death, David has struggled with losing his brother and has recently had legal trouble. A few days before the shooting, David was charged with possession with intent to sell cocaine and carrying a concealed weapon. Last week a motion was filed to dismiss the case, but a ruling has not been issued, according to court records.
And now David is in jail after the Racine County District Attorney’s Office charged him in a gun pointing case. According to the criminal complaint, someone called the police saying that David pointed a gun in the 2000 block of Superior Street at about 1:15 p.m. Sunday.
The person who called said that David mentioned how his brother was shot. But when police confronted David in the area of 17th Street he was loading things into his car and had just gotten into the driver’s seat. Pulling away, they conducted a traffic stop. And when police searched his car, they found a loaded .38 revolver with four bullets in the chamber. David told them it was his, according to the criminal complaint by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.
But Wooden — who sees David as angry and very much grieving his brother’s death — believes that he didn’t know what to do with own emotions. She also has a hard time believing David pointed a gun at someone because he had spent all day with his cousins playing video games and they were just leaving the house, she said.
“Anyone could have made that call…They are trying to attach their negativity and their darkness to his grieving process,” she said.
Call for Counseling
Wooden also believes that more could have been done to help David cope with her son’s death.
“We don’t know what to do with this in this community,” she said. “What do you do for those who have these emotions that run so raw? Loyalty runs deep in our family and I’m a God-loving woman. We’re close. We live by our principles and values. That’s how we live.”
Not wanting to lose two sons, Wooden believes more could have been done at the hospital and by the community to help.
“Where are the counselors to help these kids process this?” she said.
She also begged people to put the guns down on her Facebook page.
“The pain I feel right now I wish on no one,” she wrote. “God please hear my cry … this pain -it hurts so bad! Haaaaaaaarrrrry son I miss you!”