Andre Taylor viewed high school football as a means to an end outside Chicago. Tragically, the 16-year-old’s dream was taken from him on the city’s streets.
The promising Percy L. Julian (Chicago) football, basketball and swimming student-athlete became the latest murder victim on the city’s South Side, succumbing to a gunshot wound to his forehead, according to DNAinfo.com.
“He was always asking me to get him cleats, or some other kind of equipment for his sports,” neighbor Lynda Means told the website. “He kept saying football would get him up out of this city.”
According to reports, Taylor’s neighbors described him as “a spectacular kid” who was an honor roll student and a member of Becoming a Man (BAM) — a program that “was launched to help young men navigate difficult circumstances that threaten their future,” some of whose participants met with President Obama in 2013.
Taylor had just walked his girlfriend to the bus stop and was returning home when he was shot and killed around 7:50 p.m. on Sunday, per reports. His cousin told WBBM-TV that Taylor had recently been harassed. Classmates held a vigil for him Monday.
The homicide count climbed to 488 in Chicago last year. Taylor is the city’s 121st murder victim in 2016, per DNAinfo. Five others were shot in the city on Sunday alone.
“They’re taking out their guns for every single little thing,” Taylor’s neighbor told DNAinfo, “and now we’re losing all our kids.”
The two alleged drive-by shooters remain at large, according to reports.