Wil Lewis escaped poverty in Guatemala when he was adopted at age 7. Loving parents raised him in Wisconsin, where he found his two passions: photography and the woman who would become his wife.
He attended art school in Milwaukee and moved to Chicago two years ago. He was looking forward to starting a new job Monday, finally ending the rat race of freelance photography.
Lewis, 28, and his wife moved into a new Rogers Park apartment just two weeks ago. They were thinking about starting a family.
On Saturday, gunfire upended their plans. Lewis was standing in the 1300 block of West Devon Avenue about 3:20 p.m. when a gunman approached on foot and shot him in the back, Chicago Police said. He was pronounced dead less than 40 minutes later.
“He was looking to start a family. He was talking about having children,” said Warren Rader, a close friend and fellow photographer. “Everything was going right for him.”
Full story here. (h/t Mike Cox)
A young man, who overcame so much, his life was opening up and looking so incredible — so much ahead. And senselessly killed in what appears to be a gang battle; an innocent man caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Here’s the crazy thing:
Rader recalled a conversation he had with his friend in Milwaukee a year or two ago, before Lewis moved to Chicago.
“We were talking about conceal-carry gun licenses and how much nonsense it was and how unlikely it was that you’d ever get into a confrontation . . . He just thought it wasn’t something an everyday person would have to deal with,” Rader said.
It is true. The odds of getting into a confrontation aren’t high, especially if you live your life by a simple set of rules, e.g. don’t go to stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things, and be in bed by 10pm (h/t John Farnam). But even then, as Lewis’ tragic story shows, you can try to do everything right, and yet tragic things can still happen.
It’s important to realize…
It’s not about the odds.
It’s about the stakes.