Kenwood high school ‘community member’ shot multiple times, dies on South Side, officials say

According to the Chicago Fire Department, a teenage boy, described as a “community member” of Kenwood Academy High School, was fatally shot on the South Side Friday afternoon.

This year the shooting near CPS school was at least the fourth.

CFD spokesman Larry Merritt said minutes later that afternoon, paramedics were called to a call at 5035 S. East End Ave. that a teenage boy had been shot multiple times.

“That was the DOA,” Merritt said, taking the teen to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

According to Chicago Police spokesman Officer Michelle Tanhill, the 17-year-old boy was shot in the head while standing outside. “An unidentified criminal approached and opened fire on the victim,” Tannehill said in an emailed statement.

Merritt had earlier said that the victim was 15 years old.

According to Tannehill, the attacker probably fled in a darkened vehicle, but no one has been arrested.

Kenwood Academy is just a few blocks from the address at 5015 S Blackstone Ave., East End Ave.

Around 1:25 p.m., Kenwood’s principal, Karen Calloway, sent a note to the students’ parents saying “a member of our school community” was involved and that the school had been placed on lockdown.

“This afternoon, we received reports that shots were fired near our school and a member of our school community was injured,” the note said. “The Chicago Police Department and paramedics responded quickly to the scene to provide assistance. During the police response, we kept the students indoors as a safety precaution.”

“Today we chose to have a “soft” lockdown and canceled off-campus lunches. We ordered pizza for students who need lunch, and instructions are taking place as usual,” the note said.

“Please know that we are taking this situation very seriously, and have requested additional security support for our school.”

“Our thoughts are with the family of a member of our school community,” the note said.

In another note to parents of the Chicago Public School of Sports Administration, after-school activities, athletic and non-athletic Fridays, were canceled.

A football game scheduled for Friday night at Taft between Kenwood and Taft High School has been postponed to 4 p.m. Saturday, the email said.

The email also included a statement from David Rosengard, executive director of the Chicago Public Schools Sports Administration.

“We are saddened to learn of the tragic situation that happened near Kenwood High School this afternoon,” Rosengard said in an email. “We are in constant communication with the Kenwood Administration, the CPS Office of School Safety and Security, and the Chicago Police Department to ensure the safety of our community members in the area.”

“Our thoughts are with the Kenwood and Hyde Park community at this time.”

Chicago Teachers Association president Stacey Davis Gates also commented on the attack.

“Mothers don’t send our kids to school for murder,” Gates said in a statement. “Mayor Lightfoot and every single decision maker in this city owe us more. We demand more. Our children deserve more — more social-emotional support, more love, and more accountability from adults.”

“The mayor spent the last two years declaring our school communities safe, yet again we are about to bury another child, and offer our condolences to the other family and the other school community. This has been going on since classes started. We have at least the fourth shooting near any of our schools, and this is only the third week of the year,” Gates said in the statement. is killing. It hurts, and our entire city deserves better.”

Near the scene of the attack, north of Hyde Park Boulevard, police vehicles turned traffic away from the 50th and east end.

There was silence in the school premises till 3 pm, only a few people came out and left the school by car.

At 3:35 p.m., four Chicago Police SUVs, one of which flashed a blue light, were parked in front of the school’s main gate. At least one officer was standing outside an SUV.

An additional four officers were standing outside the school next to two parked police cars at the corner of Hyde Park Boulevard and Blackstone Avenue. A few minutes later, a woman and a group of outspoken students hurriedly walked away from the school.

Condolences were expressed in a statement released Friday afternoon by Chicago Public Schools.

“All of us at Chicago Public Schools are saddened to learn of the loss of another young life and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and community members affected by this tragedy.”

Kristen Lowery, 41, was at home Friday afternoon when she heard gunshots nearby, she told a Tribune reporter outside the school at around 4:30 p.m.

Concerned upon hearing the news of a teenage boy being shot and killed, he decides to visit his 17-year-old son, a student in Kenwood.

Lowy said she never meets her son at school because they live in an apartment one block east of campus.

As Lowery waited outside the gate, large crowds of students exited the school and dispersed into small groups across the street.

Then his phone rang.

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“Where are you?” The anxiety in her voice subsided when she heard her son’s voice and learned that he was outside their home, where the attack took place, Lowy said.

“As the mother of a black boy I feel scared,” she said, adding that while shootings don’t often happen in their neighborhood, when they do it only reinforces her fear.

Lowy had a very difficult conversation with his son, who did not know that the boy was killed, and his two older daughters, about race and violence, among other things.

“It’s hard for the parents but think about the kids,” she said. “It’s difficult for them to hear and process adult subjects like this. … They should focus on being children.”

“We need love in this city… People are in pain.”

scasanova@chicagotribune.com

tswartz@tribpub.com

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