Teen shot at skating rink had asked lawmakers weeks earlier to 'save his life'

Delaware Online-

The 15-year-old boy shot twice as he left an Ogletown skating rink Monday night had asked Wilmington lawmakers earlier this month to work on reducing gun violence.

Jakai White was part of a group of activists who spoke at Wilmington City Council's Dec. 5 meeting. During his speech he talked about losing a friend to gun violence and told council members he didn't want to be the next person to be shot.

"Please keep this on your mind, that a 15-year-old boy asked you to save his life,"  White told council members. "Please, it is an urgent matter. We cannot say it enough. I plead and I beg with you, please do something."

White, of Wilmington, was shot leaving the Christiana Skating Center, located at 801 Christiana Road. 

Delaware State Police said the teen was walking in the center's parking lot toward an awaiting vehicle that was going to take him home. That's when someone fired several gunshots, striking the boy in both legs.

The bullet that hit the left leg broke a bone in that leg. The bullet that hit his right leg broke his right heel. 

The boy was taken to Christiana Hospital by private vehicle where he was treated for an injury that was not life-threatening, police said. No other people were reported injured in the incident.

Delaware Online/The News Journal usually does not print the name of children who are victims of a crime, but White's father gave his permission.

While in some pain, White said he was glad to be alive. In a phone interview Tuesday, the young man told the newspaper the shooting only encouraged him to advocate for Delaware lawmakers to help curb gun violence. 

"I'm not going to rest," he said from the hospital. "I'm going to keep pushing. I'm not going to stop because I got shot."

White said while shootings are a nationwide problem, people have to to start advocating where they live. 

While the shooting did not occur in Wilmington, the Rev. Derrick "Pastor D" Johnson said geography does not matter when it comes to gun violence and youth. 

"The children are from Wilmington. They live in Wilmington," Johnson said. "So any dispute or shooting that takes place out there, will be avenged or continued in the city.

"It's the children, not the location."

More than 170 people have been shot statewide so far this year, according to Delaware Online's shooting database. Of those victims, 16% of them were under the age of 18. More than 60% of Delaware's gunshot victims, so far this year, have been wounded in Wilmington.  

White is a youth minister at Johnson's Joshua Harvest Church in Wilmington where he has been preaching since the age of 4.

The teen became a licensed minister at Joshua Harvest Church in 2014. 

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