• Dantrell Davis, killed by a sniper on his way to school in 1992 at the age of seven

This is the first of a five-part look at how the murder of a seven-year-old 20 years ago still reverberates nationwide.

This series was the winner of the 2013 Peter Lisagor Award in Non-Deadline Reporting, Online.

Children were out playing and others were already on their way to school when Annette Freeman and her seven-year-old son, Dantrell Davis, grabbed each other’s hands and started walking the 100 feet from their apartment building to Jenner elementary, a neighborhood school in the middle of the Cabrini-Green public housing development. It was a little before 9 AM on Tuesday, October 13, 1992—20 years ago tomorrow.

They didn’t make it to Jenner. “In three seconds it happened,” Freeman recalls. “I heard the bullet sounds and I saw he was already down. I thought he’d ducked.”

He never had a chance. One of the shots, fired from a neighboring Cabrini high-rise, hit Dantrell in the left side of his face. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Children’s Memorial Hospital.