HUMBOLDT PARK — Early this month after years of struggles, 19-year-old Cody Lucas Rodolfo Davis booked a one-way plane ticket to Las Vegas.
The Rogers Park native wanted to leave behind all of the tragedies and fears he had come to associate with Chicago.
Davis’ life in the city was marred by one tragedy after the next: an Amtrak train hit and killed his younger brother; his cousin was fatally shot; and over the summer he was shot in his face and almost didn’t survive.
“He felt a lot more comfortable when we did go on vacation” to Las Vegas, said Davis’ sister, Briana Pena. “He was breathing easily, he was just calm. For some reason, in Chicago … something about it was too much. I think too much hurt and death.”
But Davis never made it to Las Vegas.
On Oct. 12, just two days before he was set to start a new life, Davis was shot to death while getting into an Uber in Humboldt Park, many miles from home.
Pena and the rest of Davis’ family are in mourning and seeking justice.
“A lot of [media reports] just say, ‘A 19-year-old was shot in an Uber’ …. he deserved more than that,” Pena said.
Davis was a loving father and uncle who “wanted everyone to love him like he loved them.”
‘It Didn’t Make Any Sense’
Davis was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after losing loved ones to violence and getting shot himself, Pena said. He also suffered from seizures, she said.
On the night he was killed, Davis went over to his cousins’ house in the 3300 block of West Beach Avenue in Humboldt Park because he didn’t want to be alone, Pena said.
“A couple months ago, he was shot in the face. He’s been really messed up. He’s had four seizures this year. He was really anxious, always worried about having a seizure, going outside. And he’s lost a lot of people,” Pena said.
After 11 p.m., Davis left his cousins’ house. As he climbed into an Uber, a gunman shot him several times in his head, Pena and police said.
Davis was rushed to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Pena had called the Uber for her younger brother that night and was tracking the car’s whereabouts when he was shot.
Pena said she watched on her map as the Uber driver sped off and pulled into a nearby gas station. Then she got a call from police saying Davis had been shot.
“I thought it was something little because it didn’t make any sense,” Pena said.
Pena said she believes the person who shot her brother belonged to the Latin Kings gang and had threatened to shoot him weeks earlier when he was visiting his cousins a different time. But she said Davis wasn’t an “active member” of a gang and was in the wrong place at the wrong time, first when he was threatened and then when he was shot.
“I don’t think it’s a gang thing. I think it’s a personal vendetta thing,” Pena said.
Police have not made any arrests in the case and detectives are still investigating, said police spokesman Anthony Spicuzza.
‘We Had Our Whole Lives Planned’
Davis grew up in Rogers Park. He went to Daniel Boone Elementary, Jordan Community Elementary, Bowen High School and then Truman College for his GED. He worked in construction but took a job at a warehouse when the pandemic hit, Pena said.
Davis spent a lot of time with his 2-year-old daughter, Violet, whom he loved dearly, Pena said.
Violet wasn’t his biological daughter; she was his ex-girlfriend’s daughter. But Davis treated her like she was his own and took care of her every week, Pena said.
Pena said Davis would always insist he was Violet’s father, not her step-father.
Despite Davis’ struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, he was full of life, Pena said. He loved to rap and produce music, play basketball, dance — though he had “no rhythm,” Pena joked — and spend time with his daughter.
“She was his world,” Pena said.
Davis was also a caring person, Pena said. She remembers on a trip to Las Vegas when he gave his last $200 to people experiencing homelessness.
“He could be walking past you, not even know you, and you need a shirt, and he’d take his off and give it to you. I’ve seen him do it,” Pena said.
The months leading up to the fatal shooting were difficult for Davis. This summer he was shot in his face while walking near a Dunkin’ Donuts in Rogers Park, which put him in a coma and then on a ventilator.
As soon as Davis recovered, his mother, whom he loved and checked in on constantly, came down with coronavirus, Pena said. He also suffered from seizures during this time, she said.
All of this came years after he lost his younger brother and cousin.
“He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t be alone,” Pena said. “He battled a lot just this year. He was really tired. He would tell me, ‘I just want to be happy. I just want people to love me.'”
Pena said they were planning to move to Las Vegas together and open a taco food truck. He was going to travel there first, and then she was planning to meet him there in a few months. She said he made the best tacos.
Instead, Pena attended his funeral Sunday.
“It’s not real and I’m not ready,” she said. “We had our whole lives planned, buying houses next to each other in Vegas and opening our food truck.”
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