Friends remember Derek Jackson as artist, father

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Friends say the 24-year-old killed in a Rock Island shooting was a talented artist and loving father. Thursday, they asked for the community's help to give his young son a merry Christmas.

Rock Island County Coroner Brian Gustafson said Derek Jackson was the man who died after he was shot at about noon Wednesday, December 18, 2013 in a home on 16th Avenue near Douglas Park.

Jackson was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he later died.

On Thursday, Miguel Rosas wore a pin with Jackson's photo while he worked at The New Style Barbershop.

"Not too long ago, I asked Derek, I said, 'You're always happy and positive. How do you do that? I've never seen you mad.' He's like, 'That's just how I want to live my life,'" said Rosas.

The loss, though, becomes more painful when Rosas thinks of Jackson's 3-year-old son.

"They'd be painting, and they'll start off painting something... Next thing you know, they're throwing paint at each other, laughing. He was just a great dad," said Rosas.

Wednesday night, candles and stuffed animals had already been placed outside Ink Fathers, Jackson's Rock Island tattoo parlor. Friends called him a talented artist, and said they were still shocked by the senseless crime.

"Last night, I couldn't sleep. I was probably up until 4 in the morning, just thinking, 'Man, tomorrow I'm gonna wake up, and this is gonna be a dream. It wasn't him, it was somebody else,'" said Jared Willey.

Willey said Jackson's death is a waste of true talent and potential.

"He's 10 years younger than me, you know? I can't even imagine. He didn't even get to live. To me, he was still a kid," said Willey.

Aaron Henderson, 20, of Davenport, Iowa, was arrested in connection with the shooting.  A spokesperson for the Scott County Sheriff’s Department said Henderson was arrested in Davenport on a Rock Island County warrant for first-degree murder and attempted robbery.

"I guess it's in God's hands now. Still, even though they caught the people, it isn't gonna bring Derek back," said Willey.

Both The New Style Barbershop and Willey's Show Stoppa Kustomz are collecting Christmas presents for Jackson's son through Monday evening. The businesses are also selling tribute pins, with all money going to the Jackson family.

"That way, we can make sure he has a good Christmas, now that his dad's not around to take care of all that stuff," said Rosas.

You can find The New Style at 101 5th Avenue in Moline and Show Stoppa's at 3145 Avenue of the Cities. A benefit is also being planned for Sunday. We'll post details on as they are made available.

Chelsey Carey is also having a memorial Derek Jackson t-shirt made at Epic Designs in Milan with the proceeds going to his son Remi. The cost of the shirt is $15.00. Due to the holidays, shirts wont be available until Thursday, December 26th.

You can contact Chelsey Carey at 309-269-1378 or Epic Designs at 309-738-3123 to purchase a shirt.


1 Comment

  • jasonJackson

    police should look at other suspects. The streets are talking and Deonty Hearn aka lil black has also something to do with this. Rip Derick

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