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

Hillcrest homecoming dance, originally scheduled for Saturday, now canceled: school officials

ByEvelyn Holmes and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, September 16, 2023
Suburban high schooler shot to death while leaving football game
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Marshawn Mitchell, 14, was killed in a Country Club Hills shooting while leaving a Hillcrest High School football game, police said.

COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- Amanda Lenore was inconsolable just hours after her son, 14-year-old Marshawn Mitchell was shot and killed while leaving a homecoming football game at Hillcrest High School in Chicago's southern suburbs.

"They took my baby from me," Lenore said.

Police said the Country Club Hills shooting happened around 9 p.m. Friday night after the football game had ended.

Investigators said officers were dispersing a large group of people along 175th Street when an unknown gunman opened fire on the crowd.

Mitchell, shot multiple times, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later died.

"It was her only child, the only child she had, so they took everything from her when they took her only child," said Tina Thomas, the victim's aunt. "What just makes it hurt so bad is that he was a good kid. He didn't belong to a gang. He was at school."

The Hillcrest Hawks football team took to social media and posted about the shooting, writing, "We are all saddened by the events that happened tonight after our Homecoming Football Game against Oak Forest... Please pray for our staff and students who have been affected by this unfortunate, senseless act of violence!"

Country Club Hills police were still investigating the crime on Saturday, and hope security cameras at the school will yield some valuable leads.

Meanwhile, community activist Andrew Holmes is offering a reward of at least $2,000 for any information that leads to an arrest.

"He wasn't targeted or anything," Holmes said. "Just, a person made the wrong choice to pick up this weapon and discharge that weapon."

School officials canceled Saturday night's homecoming dance.

In a statement, the Bremen High School District 228 wrote, "It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the devastating loss of one of our Hillcrest High School students... Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all those involved in this tragedy."

Mitchell was a new freshman at the school.

Family members said he was seeking a better environment, and recently transferred to Hillcrest after starting the school year at Brother Rice High School in Chicago.

A gifted athlete, Mitchell hoped to play football at Hillcrest and, one day play, in the NFL, like his older cousin.

"He was only at the school for four days, and he was so excited about going to school dance the night that it happened," Thomas said.

Relatives said the loss has devastated their close-knit family, and the teen and his mother were particularly close.

The family said their bond was made greater when he graduated from eighth grade the same week she graduated from nursing school.

Amid the sorrow and tears, there is a plea for justice.

"If you know something, please come forward and tell the family. Please, help us, because he did not deserve this. His mom did not deserve this," Thomas said.