Father of Fox River Mall shooting victim speaks out

Jovanni Frausto was shot and killed at the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute on Sunday, January 31.
Jovanni Frausto was shot and killed at the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute on Sunday, January 31.(Frausto's Family/GoFundMe)
Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 9:59 PM CST
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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - The father of a young man killed during the shooting Sunday at Fox River Mall is speaking out.

Julio Aponte, the father of 19-year-old Jovanni Frausto, says his son moved from Connecticut to Wisconsin a year ago in an effort to start over.

Now, while expressing a sense of disbelief, Aponte is still attempting to come to terms with the shooting at the Fox River Mall on Sunday that took his son’s life.

“It kind of, kind of shocked me,” said Aponte. “I’m sort of numb right now. It’s not real to me at the moment. He was a bright kid and had a bright future and I understand that he was going through some stuff, but he was fine most of the time, you know I never seen this coming.”

Aponte lives in Connecticut, and says his daughter was the one who called him from Wisconsin to tell him about the shooting, and that Jovanni was hit.

“I had my wife call his mother because I couldn’t talk at the time and by the time she got ahold of his mom we got the word that he passed,” said Aponte.

Now, Aponte is making plans to visit Wisconsin as the family prepares for an unexpected funeral. CLICK HERE to learn about the GoFundMe page set up to help cover funeral costs.

Police say Frausto was shot and killed by 17-year-old Dezman Ellis, who is still on the run. An arrest warrant has been issued for Ellis, and his blue Dodge Avenger was found in Oshkosh on Monday.

As Action 2 News first reported, police say Ellis shot and killed Frausto in the mall food court during an argument over a girl.

Police say Ellis should be considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, do not approach him. Call police. The U.S. Marshals Service is assisting Grand Chute Police in the effort to arrest Ellis.

When asked about what led to the shooting, he called it a senseless act.

“At the end of the day if it was really over a female or whatever the reason was, it was totally uncalled for and now she can move on with her life, and two lives are lost not just one,” said Aponte.

Aponte also stressed that his son was not in a gang, and never had ties to any gang activity.

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