15-year-old killed in Marquette Park

October 18, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Investigators say Cornell Henderson was shot and killed around 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the Southwest Side neighborhood. Police are looking for the killer who gunned down the 15-year-old Chicago Vocational Career Academy freshman.

Henderson lived a block away from the shooting scene. He was shot in the back twice, found on the sidewalk in the 2500-block of Lithuanian Plaza Court and taken to Christ Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He and his eight brothers and sisters had lived in Marquette Park for only a year.

The teen's mother said Henderson loved baseball, basketball, cars and music.

"He is my baby. We're going to miss him," said mom Desiree Henderson.

Henderson's mother says he was outside playing with friends and said she does not believe that he was an intended target. She held up eighth grade graduation pictures of Cornell and talked about how she had big hopes for her son.

"Kept me on my toes, a joy to have," Desiree Henderson said. "Whoever did it should come clean with what they have done. They took my baby away from me."

One of Cornell Henderson's friends in the neighborhood said she heard the shots.

"I was in my computer room, and I heard some gunshots. I didn't really know what it was. Then I got a phone call saying he died, and I didn't believe it, crazy," said Kennedy Gibbs. "I didn't know he was in no gang."

Reports say shell casings from two different guns were found at the scene. Police have not confirmed that and do not have any suspects in custody.

"This keep happening. Not just in my family, but everybody else's family, too. Ain't nobody got time to keep losing their family," said Johnnie Cooks, uncle.

"What I will most about him is his laughter. When I was down he made me feel up," said Beverly Hightower.

Henderson's friends and family say he had never been in trouble with the law. Police confirm Henderson did not have an arrest record.

"We will pursue every lead on that one. Again, if we've got any information on that. It's just sad that a young boy is killed so early in his life," said Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis.

Henderson's school has participated in both a gang prevention program and a youth violence initiative. Classmates say he loved sports and music.

"He was a good student. He didn't never get into it basically with nobody," said Lamon Horace, student

Henderson's family had high hopes for him and nicknamed him "Face" because of the funny faces he made to entertain them. Relatives are hoping for justice.

"I don't know what it is, but I hope whoever did this to my nephew, I want them to get the one who did this because he was a good kid as far as I know," said Georgia Jones, aunt.

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