Teen declared brain dead after drive-by

September 26, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The gunfire came from a passing car, hitting the teen in the head and the mother in the arm.

Fifteen-year-old Antonio Johnson is a sophomore at John Marshall High School, where he also played on the football team.

The shooting took place late Sunday afternoon in the 700-block of North Springfield.

While the shots came from an older model white or cream-colored car, police have not made any arrests. Because several people were standing nearby, police do not know if Antonio Johnson and his mother were the intended targets. The 15-year-old sophomore is very well liked by staff and students at his West Side high school.

Hanging in the hallways of John Marshall High School is a banner that reads, "A Quality Education for a Quality Life." It's something school officials say Antonio Johnson was striving for. A football player who took honors classes, the 15-year-old and his mother were shot as they walked up the front porch of their West Side home Sunday afternoon.

"There is no respect nowadays," said John Marshall Dean Derrick Bass. "It's like everybody is just an open target on everybody. It's not say it can happen anywhere, but there's no respect, period."

John Marshall staff say they have no reason to believe Antonio or his mother were the intended targets.

"Knowing him as a student, I did not see any signs of him being gang-affiliated or people not liking him. I just did not see that in his character," said Principal Kenyatta Stansberry. "I would be very surprised if that was the case."

Stansberry says, last year, Antonio got nothing but A's and B's, and the sophomore's mother has been involved in the school.

While Antonio's mother recovers from a gunshot wound, her son is in the same hospital connected to life support.

John Marshall High School staff is providing as much support as they can for the students.

"We'll be meeting with the football team at practice, and the social workers and the psychologists will be there," said Stansberry. "We've also had somebody following his schedule all day, a social worker and a psychologist, just to support the kids." "Sometimes the man above has a different plan for all of us," said Bass. "And we don't know until the time comes, but at the end of the day you still need to keep pushing and get your education."

John Marshall staff said their goal is to not let this incident discourage students from doing well in school.

While Johnson remains on life support, it is being reported that arrangements are being made to donate the 15-year-old's organs.

His mother was shot in the arm and is expected to make a full recovery.

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