Shooting victim's mother: 'I broke down'

Shooting victim's mother: 'I broke down'

URBANA — Jenyra Reeves marked her 23rd birthday on Tuesday, in an Urbana hospital. She couldn't see the balloons her mother brought to celebrate.

"Her eyes won't open," said Diedra Reeves, 37, of Urbana.

Jenyra, Diedra's oldest daughter, was shot in the head three weeks ago in northwest Urbana. The single bullet that penetrated her left temple caused her to lose her left eye and have seriously compromised vision in the other eye.

Having suffered a traumatic brain injury, her future is uncertain.

Although Jenyra cannot speak, her mother said she communicates by squeezing her hand.

"She can hear. She tries to get up. She'll move her hands and toes," Diedra Reeves said.

Diedra Reeves was 14 when the first of her five children was born. It was in 2006, she said, that the state of Illinois took steps to terminate her parental rights to all of them.

Jenyra was a ward of the Department of Children and Family Services until she was 18, and attended Urbana Middle School, Urbana High School, Champaign Central and Centennial, according to her mother. However, she never graduated and, along the way, gave birth to a son who is now 8 and living with Diedra's aunt in Chicago, her mother said.

Diedra Reeves said her daughter has mental difficulties, and even though they didn't live together, saw each other often.

"I told her she can always come back to me. When you try to tell your kids what they can and can't do in your house and they don't want to respect that, what can you do? Wherever you go, there's going to be rules."

Learning that Jenyra had been shot was stunning, said Diedra Reeves.

"When the police came to me, I broke down. I thought my daughter was gone. He told me she's alive and in critical. They took me to see her. Two to three days later, they had to rush me to the emergency room because I had chest pains. I have been at her bedside since," she said.

Most of Diedra Reeves' extended family is in Chicago, she said, as is Jenyra's father.

"She doesn't bother nobody and the majority of the time stays by herself. She's got friends around here. But they can turn out to be your enemy," Diedra Reeves said.

"She can rap and can sing. She loves music and dancing. She will socialize and talk to you."

As for the person or persons responsible for shooting Jenyra, Diedra doesn't know what to think about their motivation.

"I don't know. I just want them to turn themselves in. She doesn't bother nobody. She stays to herself. I just want somebody to come forward," she said.

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Rocco146 wrote on August 21, 2014 at 9:08 am

You're seriously going to use a booking photo to show a shooting victim that is fighting for her life?  Is this newspaper that ridiculously inconsiderate???

sweet caroline wrote on August 21, 2014 at 9:08 am

Despicable, unethical, unprofessional....what else can I say to describe the appalling News-Gazette posting a MUG SHOT of this innocent victim! 

stingray1970 wrote on August 21, 2014 at 11:08 am
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A mugshot of a shooting victim is the best picture this paper can come up with? News-Gazette is tabloid trash.

787 wrote on August 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Here comes another comment, that will be unpopular.

When will kids who are 14 and 15 years old, stop having kids that they are unable to support?

Just within this one family, it has happened more than once, in more than one generation.  There's nothing like making the same mistake... over and over again.

welive wrote on August 21, 2014 at 7:08 pm

so about the mug shot photo who cares did anyone think that that was the only oict they had after all its not the n g fault she has a mug shot right. would you prefer a pict of her in the hospital bed? just wonder or no picture at all and whos to say she is a innocent victim?

alabaster jones 71 wrote on August 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm
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Well, 787, I'm sure your off-topic comment on this article about a woman being shot in the head will prevent plenty of teen pregnancies in the future.  Mr. Difference Maker right here!

map89 wrote on August 21, 2014 at 7:08 pm

You are absolutely right, 787.  As Dr. Phil says, "The best predictor of the future is the past".  I guess some people never figure that out. 

sweet caroline wrote on August 21, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Well, they should have printed NO picture if the only one they had was a mug shot.  This lady isn't being written about because she's been arrested.  She was shot and could have died. 

Voice of Reazon wrote on August 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm

More and more, I am convinced that we live in a world with a large population of evil people and idiots.  The people who shot this woman should suffer the death penalty.  As should the ISIS jihadists who beheaded the American journalist in Iraq.  If you aren't prepared to push back hard against this evil, be prepared to suffer at the hands of it.

welive wrote on August 22, 2014 at 8:08 am

as long as people have guns no matter good peopl eor bad people this will happen and lets be real on this these are just little peices of the big picture.

cwdog57 wrote on August 22, 2014 at 9:08 am

unfortunately for this woman society has left her  psychogically broken and now physically broken. you can see the pain in her eyes and face in her mug shot. as a broken society we now have no compassion for the weak and maimed. kuddoos to the n-g for reaffiming THIS fact. wow.....heartless.

kpruitt1164@aol.com wrote on January 26, 2015 at 2:01 am

Not sure if the News-Gazette still has the "Wall of Fame / Wall of Shame" located in news room for stories /photos. (I might be dating myself here)

Using a mugshot as a picture for the victim in the story: Defiately wall of shame material!