23-year-old father killed in South Side drive-by

Photo of Alexander McDonald, 23, and his son.

September 16, 2011 1:56:49 PM PDT
A Chicago family is talking about the pain of losing two young men to violent crime.

Alexander McDonald, 23, was shot in the 9200 block of South Blackstone Monday afternoon. He died two days later in the hospital. McDonald was a close family friend of Derrion Albert, the 16-year-old honor student who was beaten to death outside Fenger High School in 2009.

Alexander leaves behind a 2-year-old son, Jaylen. Family and friends say he was a proud, doting father.

"He was a good kid. He's my only kid, and he was a good kid. I raised him good, to be a good man," said Danyela McDonald, mother. "I was going to give up. But I realize I have agrandson who needs me."

Alexander was with his family and friends when he was gunned down. They had just returned from a funeral. Police say a gunman fired shots from a car. A bullet hit McDonald in the head.

Family members say it makes no sense. McDonald was close to graduating from college and had passed all the tests to join the Cook County Sheriff's Department.

"It's a loss for the family, yes, but it's also a loss for this whole community. Alex was looking forward to life. He was looking forward to his future," said Traci Benjamin, family friend.

"He was always respectful, generous, kind, nice, everything," said Lavena Shell, family friend.

It has been a difficult time for the family. They are close friends with the family of Derrion Albert, who was beaten to death by a mob nearly two years ago on his way home from school.

"Derrion was my world, too, you know. Anything he needed, he would always call, Aunty, can you send me some money, I'm going to prom, I need some shoes, I need this. And I was always there for him," said Danyela McDonald.

Friends say Alexander was looking forward to starting his career, marrying his fiancee, and raising his son.

"I think that's what hurts the most. He was a good kid, but he had plans for the future. He had goals," said Traci Benjamin, friend.

Sources say police have talked to a number of witnesses who say there were four or five people in the car when the shots were fired. Police are working on their identities, but so far they have no one in custody.

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