Bullet gone, but scar remains

A single bullet can change many lives. This is Tavon Tanner, now 11, who was shot on Aug 8 last year. He was the subject of a story by Ms Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune on how child shootings affected the lives of the victims' families.

That day was Chicago's deadliest in 13 years. Nineteen people were shot, nine of them killed.

Among the wounded was Tavon, then 10. A bullet struck him while he was playing on his West Polk Street porch, with his mother and twin sister next to him.

Tavon lost his spleen that night and, with it, his ability to fight infection. A long scar on his torso is a grim reminder.

The bullet that hit Tavon also hurt everyone close to him. Since the shooting, his mother has taken a year off from her job as a dietary assistant at a nursing home.

In October, a week after his 11th birthday, the bullet was finally removed from his body. Tavon's case remains under investigation. He is one of 24 children under the age of 12 who were shot in Chicago last year.

This photo of Tavon by Mr E. Jason Wambsgans of the Chicago Tribune won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography at Columbia University on Monday.

"It was a gift from him. He is a brave, extraordinary little boy," Mr Wambsgans said on Monday. "He wanted his story to be told."


Washington Post, NYT win Pulitzers for probes of powerful people 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2017, with the headline 'Bullet gone, but scar remains'. Print Edition | Subscribe