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Man who survived Wilkinsburg mass shooting dies over 4 years later

PITTSBURGH — One of the survivors of the 2016 Wilkinsburg mass shooting died at the hospital on Tuesday.

According to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office, John Ellis, 51, was taken to UPMC Mercy on Friday for complications. He was pronounced dead earlier this afternoon.

Ellis was paralyzed as a result of the March 2016 shooting at a cookout on Franklin Avenue that took the lives of five other people and an unborn baby.

Since that horrifying evening, Ellis' mother, Aleta Livsey, has taken care of her bedridden son.

Previous coverage: Wilkinsburg mass shooting survivor says people responsible ‘have to answer to God’

“Last week he wasn’t really talking. He wasn’t really eating,” Livsey said.

Livsey tells Channel 11 that she noticed her son’s health take a sharp decline last week.

“He had sepsis. That’s an infection of your blood. They found he had a clot on his lung and a mass on his liver. Infection, bedsores. He couldn’t get his blood pressure up,” Livsey said.

Ellis was rushed to the hospital Friday night.

“He told me Monday he said, ‘Mom, I’m tired,’” Livsey said. “You know when people say that they are ready to go.”

And just like Livsey has been by her son’s side for the last four years, she was there to hold her son’s hand as he took his last breath.

“You look at the monitor and you see you’re going from 60/40 and then 50/10 and then you see zero. Very hard,” Livsey said.

Now the grieving mother is refusing to let her son’s legacy be tarnished by the 2016 shooting. Instead, she’s choosing to remember her son in other ways.

“He always talked about being a DJ and he just bought equipment. He never got to use it,” Livsey said. “He loved life. He just loved life.”

Of the two gunman involved, one was acquitted of murder and the other had the charges against him dropped.