CPS sophomore killed on 2nd day of school

September 9, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Two teenagers were shot, one fatally, at 86th and Saginaw Wednesday afternoon.

Deantonio Goss, 16, a Bowen High School student on his way home from the second day of school, was shot and killed in the South Chicago neighborhood around 3 p.m. The slain sophomore, who wanted to be a barber and enjoyed boxing, was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital.

"He wanted to cut hair. It's one of the last things we had discussed career wise, on what he might like to do. Yeah, he was inspired to be a barber," father Darryl Jackson said.

Corey Thompson, 18, the other student shot in the same incident, was listed in fair condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Bowen High is part of a community program that tries to give students safer passage to and from school.

Goss' dad said he blames his son's death on a violent community.

"We are doing this to ourselves, if we could just stop the violence and stop being so hostile," said Jackson. "I wish that my child would be the last child to end in gun violence, but it's not so."

Jackson himself has been active in neighborhood anti-violence programs.

"We need to find another way to solve our problems. So if I disagree with you, I don't need to be fighting with you to disagree with you," said Jackson.

Bowen students say they are worried about their lives as they get to and from school.

"Got to look over our shoulder all the time and stuff like that. That's about it," said freshman Belinda Green.

Students say they welcome the Safe Passage staff in the yellow vests who are the new eyes and ears around some schools. But they also say that kids don't take them seriously. The Safe Passage monitors are trained to spot trouble near the school and report it. They're not there to enforce the law, and they don't have guns.

"We are not just the only people out here. We actually do have law enforcement here, undercover police here. We have security here. So we're doing the best we can as a group to make sure the students get back and forth to school," said David Martin, Safe Passage.

A CPS spokesperson says there were no reports of a physical altercation before Deantonio Goss' shooting and that it could not have been prevented. But they point out that a monitor did call 911 after hearing gunshots.

"Community watchers are not the police. They're there to support the police. So they were some of the first to call 911. It was over half a mile from the school, so they weren't physically on that route, but they heard it. So this is a program that can work," said CPS CEO Ron Huberman.

On Thursday school officials met with watch organizers to see what - if anything - needs to be changed.

"You have the community, you have the police, you've got the aldermanic office, you've got CAPS, you've got the community organizations all sitting down this morning, powwowing about how is this going to work more effectively," said Huberman.

CPS officials say there were 20 Safe Passage monitors working at Bowen Wednesday, but not in the immediate vicinity of the shooting.

Earlier this week, parents of Bowen students told ABC7 the Safe Passage program helped them breathe easier.

"I think for the most part it will be a big deterrent. If they think there are other people watching and seeing, they'll be a little more discerning in what they're doing," said Loretta Goodman, grandmother of a Bowen High School student. But on Thursday afternoon, many seemed less sure.

"They're putting in a little bit of effort but it's not good enough. It's just not good enough," said Charles Eve, parent of a Bowen High School student.

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