Evanston model killed in Englewood shooting

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015
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A 20-year-old woman who took part in an anti-violence campaign was shot to death while visiting her grandparents on the South Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A young woman who recently modeled for an anti-violence campaign was shot to death while visiting her grandparents on Chicago's South Side.

Kaylyn Pryor, 20, of Evanston, was shot in the right armpit around 6:20 p.m. Monday in the 7300-block of South May Street. She died at Advocate Christ Medical Center. A 15-year-old boy was wounded in the shooting. He was hospitalized in good condition with a gunshot to his leg.

Police said someone inside a car opened fire on the group. Pryor was not the intended target, officials said. They don't know if the 15-year-old boy was.

"They're innocent. They're going places in their life. And she was so young. That's the sad part about it. And if that person who did it gets caught, I'm sure they're young, too. So their life is over with," Priscilla Stanford, who lives in Englewood, said.

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Pryor, who was just named the Mario Tricoci "Make Me A Model" competition in September, posed for an anti-violence campaign just weeks ago.

"She had such an innocence about her. And it's ironic. When I took the pictures with her and the teddy bear, it was such a connection to have, and her innocence was overflowing," artist Maxwell Emcays said.

The teddy bear Pryor held was symbolic of the ones often placed at memorials after a child is killed in shooting. A memorial now stands for Pryor in the Englewood neighborhood where her grandparents live. Pryor was walking to the bus stop to catch a bus back to Evanston when she was killed.

"She was going home to print out the modeling contract from Factor, to sign it, and to send it back to them so she would be a signed model with the agency," Chantal Pryor, sister, said.

Pryor's was a Cinderella story. The track star and cheerleader at Evanston Township High School studied at Robert Morris College and became a paralegal. One day, she and a friend stumbled upon a model tryout at a Mario Tricoci hair salon.

"We were walking down the street, and she's like, 'Oh, let's do the Mario Make Me A Model thing.' And I'm like, 'OK, this sounds fun.' And we just went in there," Pryor said during an appearance on WCIU in September.

"We are saddened and broken-hearted to learn of the tragic passing of Kaylyn Pryor. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family. This touches every one of us who knew and worked with her. Kaylyn will be remembered for her kind and generous spirit. She truly was beautiful inside and out," Mario Tricoci said in a statement.