Family, friends mourn 17-year-old shot

September 21, 2009 4:26:54 AM PDT
A teenager was fatally shot sitting inside a vehicle Saturday night in the South Side Gresham neighborhood.About 7:10 p.m., Corey McClaurin, 17, was sitting in a vehicle in the 8100 block of South Green Street when an offender jumped out of a dark minivan, opened fire, and got back into the minivan and fled the scene, police said.

As friends and family remembered the teen Sunday, authorities searched for a suspect.

McClaurin was a high school senior. His father says Corey was looking forward to going to college next year. The murder has not only left the teen's family devastated, but it also has shocked the community where he lived.

Most describe McClaurin as smart and well-liked and as someone who was going places. Although police have not outlined a motive for the crime, both McLaurin's friends and family say his appearance of success may have been the reason he was targeted.

"We never would have thought that we would go to the hospital on Saturday night and find out our son had been killed," father Walter McClaurin, who struggled Sunday to deal with the death of his son.

Corey McClaurin was gunned down just blocks away from his family's South Side home.

Sunday morning, his friends gathered at the place where the he lost his life to leave mementos of grief.

"He was one of those cool-type of people who came and kicked it with everybody. He was everybody's friend," Greg Blackwell said, one of McClaurin's friends.

Investigators say the attack happened just after 7 p.m. Saturday at the corner of 81st and Green as McClaurin waited for a friend inside the car his parents had given him because he earned good grades. Witnesses say a gunman jumped out of a dark minivan, opened fire, and then got back into the vehicle and fled the scene.

McClaurin died at an area hospital.

"That was the saddest thing to see, for that kid have bullet holes in him," neighborhood resident Kimberly Ward said tearfully.

Corey McClaurin was a Simeon Career Academy senior who was set to graduate and hoped to attend college then pursue his dream of being a music producer. Friends say he was not in a gang, and they believe jealousy over some of the nice things he had may have been a motive for the attack.

"He didn't have to hustle. He didn't have to do none of that because he had parents who cared about him and that gave it to him. They've seen that. They hated on him and killed him," friend Cornelius Henry said.

While many of Corey's friends say his death proves no one is safe anywhere, not even in their own neighborhood, Walter McClaurin hopes some good can come out of the tragedy that has robbed him of his son.

"We need to sit down and talk to the youth and make sure that, if they're having any problems, they come and talk to us. That's the only way we're going to find out what's really going on in their lives and we'll be able to maybe even solve the problem by that, or hopefully, save somebody's life," the father said.

Walter McClaurin also says the loss will be hard for Corey's little sister because he used to pick her up from school everyday.

Area Two Chicago police detectives are working on the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chicago Police Area Two Detective Division at 312-747-8272. Witnesses to the murder of Corey McClaurin were only able to give a vague description of the attacker.

Officers say they are looking for a blue or black minivan.

(The Sun-Times News Group contributed to this report.)


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