How Naperville native's slaying spurred friend to turn anger to action

  • Candice Dickerson was killed by a stray bullet on April 26, 2019.

    Candice Dickerson was killed by a stray bullet on April 26, 2019.

  • Bryant Mitchell is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Candice Dickerson

    Bryant Mitchell is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Candice Dickerson

  • Marco Zabala is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Candice Dickerson

    Marco Zabala is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Candice Dickerson

 
Posted8/2/2019 5:30 AM

Candice Dickerson was shopping in a Chicago cellphone store April 26, buying her son a reward for a job well done on a school project, when a suspected gang member's stray bullet pierced a store window and struck her in the head as two of her three kids looked on.

The 36-year-old Naperville native died a short time later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The senseless killing shocked and angered many in Dickerson's hometown, including lifelong friend Charmaine Warren.

Three months later, Warren is turning her anger into action. Inspired by Dickerson's memory, she's launched "A Little More Love," a charitable organization to help children who lose parents to gun violence.

"Our goal is really to show these kids that we care and there's someone who's there for them," Warren said.

The inspiration of "A Little More Love" came as Warren and other friends gathered at Dickerson's funeral and shared their outrage, disbelief and sense that something more needs to be done about gun violence.

"We were all at the point where we felt enough was enough and we needed to turn that anger into action," Warren told us this week. "I just could not sit back anymore."

Warren's first goal for "A Little More Love" is to offer temporary financial support to families who've lost a parent through gun violence. Long-term, she said, she hopes to use the organization to link children who've lost parents with mentors and other assistance.

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The organization will hold its first fundraiser today at Bar Louie in Bolingbrook. The restaurant will donate 20% of net sales from customers who mention "A Little More Love."

To learn more about the fledging organization, visit supportful.com/morelove or Warren's Facebook page, facebook.com/charmaine.warren.35.

Case update

Two Chicago men are awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges stemming from Dickerson's slaying.

Bryant Mitchell, 23, who is accused of firing the fatal shot, is being held without bond at the Cook County jail. He's due in court Sept. 12.

Marco Zabala, 24, who authorities say handed Mitchell the gun used in the shooting, also is locked up at the county jail without bond pending a Sept. 12 court appearance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Prosecutors have said Mitchell was targeting rival gang members selling marijuana from a nearby car when he opened fire in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood, inadvertently hitting Dickerson.

The Five Cheating Chicks team from the Naperville Police Department competes Tuesday at the Armored Truck Challenge in Plainfield. The team pulled this 19-ton vehicle 75 feet in a little more than 44 seconds. The contest raised money for Special Olympics.
The Five Cheating Chicks team from the Naperville Police Department competes Tuesday at the Armored Truck Challenge in Plainfield. The team pulled this 19-ton vehicle 75 feet in a little more than 44 seconds. The contest raised money for Special Olympics. - Courtesy of Ann Quigley
Pulling more than their weight

They called themselves "Five Cheating Chicks," but a Naperville Police Department team played strictly by the rules Tuesday at the Plainfield Police Department's Armored Truck Challenge.

With no practice -- "and we almost chickened out at the last minute," said team leader Detective Ann Quigley -- they pulled the 19-ton rescue truck 75 feet in 44.32 seconds.

Twenty-three teams of five to six members each entered the contest, which raised money for Special Olympics. The winner: the Stateville Tactical Team, in a blazing 26.06 seconds.

Naperville's team included victim advocate Gianna Trombino, Detective Elena Deuchler and officers Melynda Chlebek and Emily Heikes.

Quigley became involved in Special Olympics when she was a school resource officer at Naperville Central High School. One of the students was a global ambassador for Special Olympics, and Quigley became a mentor.

The team entered the Plainfield contest practically at the last minute.

"It was just us being goofy. We had a great time," Quigley said.

Next up -- if she can get 15 more of her co-workers to sign on -- could be the Sept. 28 Law Enforcement Torch Run Plane Pull at O'Hare International Airport.

Bringing the noise

Don't worry if you see a lot of police and fire vehicles -- lights flashing and sirens blaring -- passing through North Aurora and Aurora tonight. It's just the annual Emergency Vehicle Lights and Sirens Procession.

The event will start at 6:30 p.m. near the North Aurora police station at Lincolnway (Route 31) and Airport Road. From there, it'll take an 11-mile journey through both communities, ending at the Aurora Transportation Center, 415 N. Broadway (Route 25).

Some of the vehicles may stick around the ATC for viewing.

The procession traditionally has been the kickoff of a weekend-long emergency-vehicle show. But this year's show was canceled by its organizer, Dave Weaver of Sugar Grove, due to a pressing personal matter that took up a lot of his time this year: fighting a charge of criminal trespass to property.

Weaver is a freelance video journalist, selling footage of car crashes, fires and other incidents to Chicago-area media outlets and posting on his website, radioman911.com, and Facebook page. Illinois State Police charged him in August 2018, saying he parked on a shoulder of I-88, got out of his vehicle and filmed the aftermath of a fiery crash. He was also charged with failure to yield to emergency vehicles and illegally stopping on the shoulder. Last week, a DuPage County judge found Weaver not guilty.

For a map of the procession, visit emergencyvehicleshow.com.

• Got a tip or thoughts on a cops and crime-related issue to share? Email copsandcrime @dailyherald.com.

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