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John Ellis, Victim In 2016 Wilkinsburg Mass Shooting, Dies After Experiencing Complications

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Four-and-a-half years after he was shot and paralyzed during the Wilkinsburg mass shooting, John Ellis has passed away. He died Tuesday after complications from his injuries.

His mother, Aleta Livsey had to bury her husband last year and is now burying her son. She fought back tears and shared her memories with KDKA Wednesday.

"He loved life. He enjoyed himself. He had a good time. Good guy," Livsey said.

A smile taken away too soon, John Ellis passed away Tuesday afternoon at the age of 51.

"Terrible. Like my heart is just heavy. I was there yesterday with John when passed. Holding his hand," Livsey said.

According to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner, he was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital on Friday for complications following the 2016 mass shooting in Wilkinsburg. Five people and an unborn child were killed that night. Ellis was shot multiple times and was paralyzed.

"He said, 'I'm at rest now. I can do what I have to do. Just go to sleep,'" Livsey said.

WATCH: KDKA's Lindsay Ward reports

She said the last few weeks had been rough. Ellis was not looking well and after the last few trips to the hospital, his health started to go down hill. He pushed through to see his mother's birthday earlier this month.

"He was home, but he wasn't himself. That's why I knew he was sick," Livsey said outside her Elliot home.

Her final words to her only son were not "goodbye," but "I'll see you later."

"I love him and I'll see you one day," she said while holding back tears.

To the people who cause this pain, Livsey has a message for you.

"Why? What did you get out it? Did you get satisfaction killing these people? Had it been your family, how would you feel?" she told KDKA.


Back in February, Ellis talked to KDKA about a jury finding Cheron Shelton not guilty of murder. Shelton was the lone defendant in the case.

At the time, Ellis was furious and said he couldn't understand what the jury didn't see and that "somebody did something to us."

Ellis said he actually lived next door to where the shooting happened and was invited to the cookout, a decision that changed his life forever. He said one bullet caused a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

At this point, funeral arrangements have not been made. KDKA will keep you updated as soon as the family finalizes those plans.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office provided this statement:

"Our office extends deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Ellis. He was extremely helpful during the trial and his courage and dignity through all of this is something to be admired."

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