High school student killed in Chicago shooting while rest of family were away on trip

Emily Brown

Published 
| Last updated 

High school student killed in Chicago shooting while rest of family were away on trip

Featured Image Credit: ABC7 Chicago

A 16-year-old boy has died after being shot during a shooting in Chicago while the rest of his family were enjoying a holiday to Florida.

Andre Smith, a student of Urban Prep Academy student, was supposed to join his family on the trip to Florida but was unable to get time off work.

Instead he stayed at home and he had just finished playing basketball on Sunday (14 August) when he found himself caught in the crossfire of two groups at the Altgeld Gardens Homes on the Far South Side.

Andre had been playing basketball before the shooting. Credit: ABC7 Chicago
Andre had been playing basketball before the shooting. Credit: ABC7 Chicago

Police said someone in a burgundy SUV drove to the scene and began firing around 4:05 pm local time. Another group returned fire, and Andre 'got caught in the middle' while trying to run home, according to his mother, Candace Washington. 

Washington told ABC7 Andre's step-sister had called her while she was on holiday in Florida, saying: "Andre's shot! He's not moving."

The authorities are said to have notified Andre's stepfather, but they 'wouldn't let anybody approach him, so he died alone', Washington said.

The mother expressed her anger that her son was 'taken' from her, and that she couldn't be there with him. Condemning the violence, she added: "They can't go to the park! He was playing basketball."

Andre was unable to get off work to join his family on holiday. Credit: ABC7 Chicago
Andre was unable to get off work to join his family on holiday. Credit: ABC7 Chicago

Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan has said there are still unanswered questions about the case, saying: "Were they trying to target somebody else? We don't know. The people who, obviously, returned fire at the SUV are not cooperating. We don't have them identified.

"So, it's an open and active homicide investigation with a lot of work to do."

Washington commented: "So, I'll never know, and I'll just be walking amongst the person that killed my baby."

Courtney Lewis, a member of the community where the shooting took place, described the situation as 'heartbreaking' and said it was like the kids 'don't have a chance at all'.

Andre's mother has condemned the violence. Credit: ABC7 Chicago
Andre's mother has condemned the violence. Credit: ABC7 Chicago

"It's like they're in a bowl and it's slowly filling up and nobody's doing anything about it," Lewis added.

With their trip cut short, Smith's family said on Monday they were on their way to identify their son's body at the medical examiner's office before beginning the process to plan his funeral.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, of the 413 victims killed in Chicago this year, at least 386 died by shooting. The Gun Violence Archive states there have been a total of 12,713 fatal shootings in the US this year.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, US News, Chicago, Crime

Emily Brown
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Music

Ringo Starr forced to cancel shows after falling ill

15 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Gwen Stefani explains why she doesn't appear to age

13 hours ago