A Chicago police sergeant responded to a report of a shooting at 1 a.m. on Nov. 27 and arrived at the scene to find a dead body in the driver’s seat of a white Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Sgt. Darwin Butler, a 17-year Chicago law enforcement veteran, treated the crime scene as he would any other, until he realized that the murder victim was his own stepson, 20-year-old Darius Parish, whom Butler had raised since he was 8 years old.
According to Parish’s girlfriend, they were on their way to go bowling when shots rang out, striking Parish through the shoulder, and hitting another passenger in the arm. Three others in the vehicle, including a 10-month-old baby, were unharmed.
Parish was a pharmacy student at St. Xavier University home for Thanksgiving break. He was buried Monday. Police have not made an arrest in connection with the shooting.
Butler said he initially didn’t recognize Darius because over time an officer learns to disassociate from the many victims they encounter in their line of work. He said when he realized the dead man was his son, he “was done.” Butler was reportedly not expected to return to work, but the sergeant says the incident has only strengthened his resolve to return to the streets of one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
“I’m going to keep fighting,” Butler said. “I’m going to keep trying to make a difference.” –kathleen cross