Hillcrest High School hosts 1st football game since 14-year-old student fatally shot near campus

Michelle Gallardo Image
Sunday, October 22, 2023
Hillcrest football returns home for 1st time teen boy's fatal shooting
Hillcrest High School hosted its first football game since 14-year-old Marshawn Mitchell was fatally shot near campus.

COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- Defeated by the Bremen Braves 34-0 was, perhaps, not how the Hillcrest Hawks would have chosen to close out their regular season.

But, this is a high school community has gone through a lot in the last month as they continue to recover from the tragic death of 14-year-old freshman Marshawn Mitchell, who was shot and killed following a homecoming football game on Sept. 15. Mitchell, police say, was not the intended target.

SEE ALSO | 'They took my baby': Hillcrest HS student shot to death while leaving homecoming football game

"They're taking it kind of a little hard. We're just praying for the family, for the school," said Retina Matthews.

Playing their first home game since the shooting, parents on Saturday credited school and district officials not just with increasing security in and around the games, but also for supporting the students through it all.

"They remain focused. They've had a lot of support at Hillcrest from the coaches and from the staff itself. Definitely kept these boys uplifted," Rochelle Pinex said.

And, while the shooting happened, not on school property, but as officers were trying to disperse a large crowd near 174th Street and Pulaski following the game, Hillcrest officials said they are looking at what they can do to create a safer environment. Weapons detectors have been in use for a year now, but the decision to move this week's game to a Saturday morning was purposeful.

READ MORE | Country Club Hills police appeal for help finding shooter of Hillcrest High School freshman

"It was more difficult, I think, for us as parents, because the boy was so young. And, to have kids to understand, our boys are getting shot," Angelica Jackson said.

While the police investigation continues, there is a reward for any information that leads to the arrest of Mitchell's killer.