Deonte Hoard was only 17, but he already had a clear idea of what he wanted to do in life: Go to college and play basketball, according to the Chicago Tribune. He was on the right path to achieve his academic goals as a senior at Urban Prep Academy, the nation’s first all boys charter school that sends all of its graduating seniors to college.
But his life was cut short Monday when he died from a gunshot blast to the chest about a block from his home in the South Deering neighborhood on the city’s Far South Side, the Chicago Police Department told the new site.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
He was standing at the corner of 106th Street and Oglesby Avenue when an SUV pulled up around 7:15 p.m. and someone inside opened fire, police said. Hoard was hit in the chest and a 23-year-old man was grazed in the head, police said.
Tuesday evening, [his mother Ebonie] Martin joined dozens of friends and relatives around a makeshift memorial of candles, a Chicago Bulls cap and a basketball.
“He was full of life, just a joy to have around,” Martin said as a relative held her. “He had a smile that just would lift your spirits up even if you were down.
Urban Prep founder Tim King says Hoard is the first student to be killed while enrolled at the school in the Englewood neighborhood, which ranks in the city’s Top 10 high crime areas.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times:
Hoard was a member of the track team and had been admitted to several colleges, King said.
Hoard was scheduled to receive the ceremonial tie Friday at the “On to the Next One Ceremony” for seniors who had been admitted to college.
“We will remember a young man full of promise and potential, well-liked by teachers and friends, and loved by his family,” King said.
An investigation continues. No arrests have been made as of Wednesday.