Rylan Wilder was a 15-year-old boy who made history in 2019 by becoming the youngest person to have ever played at the music festival Riot Fest in Chicago’s Douglas Park. He is the lead guitarist and vocalist for his band, Monarchy Over Monday. Unfortunately, however, Wilder may never be able to play music again after he was shot twice by police as they pursued and killed a robbery suspect, Christopher Willis.
Now, nearly two years after the shooting, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office has announced that the officer who started wildly firing into the occupied music school, Des Plaines Police Officer James Armstrong, will not face charges, and Wilder’s bullet holes were ruled “justified.”
“I don’t want to say they ruined my life, but they took away a huge part of it that I loved and they just don’t say anything,” Wilder told WGN. His family pointed out that police never even offered so much as an apology for shooting him.
“Will I ever be able to play guitar again?” was Wilder’s first question after coming out of surgery. According to his doctors, the answer to that question is unknown as he has undergone 14 surgeries since that day on his arm and abdomen. He has yet to regain control of his arm. Wilder told reporters that police are acting as if they never shot him.
Two years later and the government has still refused to take responsibility for the incident.