A New York journalism student was shot and killed in his hometown of Chicago mere hours before he was scheduled to come back to school.
Arshell Dennis III, a student at St. John’s University, was sitting on a porch with a friend early Sunday when he was shot in the chest by an unidentified gunman on foot, Chicago police told the Daily News.
The 19-year-old’s parents said that they were planning on taking him to the airport later in the day so that he could return to school for his junior year.
“Now because of this senseless violence we will be grieving and planning his funeral,” the Dennis family said in a statement. “Trey was smart, funny and the light of our lives.”
Police do not currently have a motive for the shooting, though one theory is that Dennis was mistaken for another young man.
Arshell Dennis III, a journalism student at St John’s University, was killed Sunday morning in Chicago.
(AggyPeanut’s channel via YouTube)
His father Arshell “Chico” Dennis is a police officer and friend of Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, though spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said it is not believed that the connection motivated the attack.
The younger Dennis was at home to surprise his sick mother on her birthday, WLS-TV reported.
Chicago has seen more than 2,600 shooting victims this year, according to the Chicago Tribune’s tracker, and is approaching the total of 2,988 victims in all of 2015.
Dennis had spoken about the gun violence epidemic in his hometown in a video posted on YouTube.
Dennis and a friend were sitting on a porch on Chicago’s South Side when they were shot.
(WLS-TV via ABC News)
“I do appreciate the fact that I am where I am. A lot of people where I’m from don’t make it out,” he said in the clip, where he also talked about his love for poetry.
Dennis’s 20-year-old friend was also shot, and was still in the hospital as of Monday evening, according to police.
St. John’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.