15-year-old fatally shot in Dolton

May 25, 2010 4:32:08 AM PDT
An honor student has died after being caught in gunfire shortly after classes ended at a south suburban high school Monday.

The 15-year-old boy was one of two people shot. The other victim survived. Police are asking witnesses to come forward.

The shooting happened in south suburban Dolton at about 2:40 Monday afternoon near Sibley and Oak.

That intersection during the afternoon is usually crowded with students from nearby Thornridge High School who are walking to a restaurant to get something to eat. It was one of those students, Destin Hernandez, who was walking home when people across the street from each other started shooting. One bullet struck and killed Hernandez.

"He's a wonderful young man. Very adventurous, very imaginative, very artistic," said aunt Jacqueline Henry who calls herself a second mom to her nephew.

Hernandez, a freshman and honor roll student at Thornridge, was on his way home from school when he was struck by a bullet and killed, getting caught in the crossfire of people shooting at each other at Sibley and Oak.

"We are still in disbelief. We're disillusioned at this particular time but his spirit still lives with us," said Kenneth Cole, stepfather.

Hernandez's family is trying to take comfort in his achievements - like getting straight As in school and creating artwork. Those who knew him say he made quite an impression.

"With a student like this who is striving to make something of himself, it is a tragedy," said Michael Winston, former principal.

Winston stopped by the Hernandez home to pay his respects Monday evening. His mother was appreciative but silent. Meanwhile, police are hoping witnesses with information about what happened won't stay silent. They say the offenders were on Sibley across the street from each other when the shooting happened, with a gun shot hitting Hernandez as he was passing through the parking lot of Baba's Steak and Lemonade. Another adult was also hit and is in fair condition.

"It's tragic. It's a young man, minding his own business, going to school. He did nothing to nobody," said Lt. Harry Blaundin, Dolton Police Department.

Dolton Police say they have several good leads and have identified persons of interests but no arrests have been made. They say they will be at Thornridge High School Tuesday to help with crisis management.


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