Hillcrest High School: 14-Year-Old Fatally Shot Leaving Football Game
The teen’s family says he had just transferred to Hillcrest from Brother Rice High School in Chicago to seek a better environment.
COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, Ill. — A teenage boy was shot and killed Friday after a homecoming football game at Hillcrest High School.
Police said the shooting happened around 9 p.m. as officers were dispersing a large group of people after the game had ended, reports KKTV. An unknown shooter opened fire on the crowd, striking 14-year-old Marshawn Mitchell multiple times. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later died from his injuries.
Mitchell’s great aunt, Tina Thomas, said he started the school year at Brother Rice High School in Chicago but had recently transferred to Hillcrest seeking a better environment. He was hoping to join the football team.
“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,” said Thomas. “He was only at the school for four days, and he was so excited about going to the school dance the night that it happened.”
A suspect has not been named and Country Club Hills Police are hoping school security cameras will yield valuable leads. Community activist Andrew Holmes is offering $2,000 for any information that leads to an arrest. Holmes founded the Andrew Holmes Foundation and works with the FBI and Chicago Police to strengthen relationships in the communities they serve.
“[Mitchell] wasn’t targeted or anything, just a person that made the wrong choice to pick up this weapon and discharge that weapon,” he said.
The Uvalde Foundation For Kids, a national nonprofit organization formed following the Uvalde Texas School shooting, is also offering a financial reward for direct information that leads to an arrest.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact CCHPD at 708-798-3191. Information can also be submitted anonymously on the SWORN tip line at 708-206-2899.
Gun Violence at School Events
Gun violence at athletic events has already impacted several districts this year, prompting schools to increase security. On Sept. 1, 16-year-old Ja’Kobe Queen was fatally shot during halftime of a football game between Louisiana’s Port Allen High School and Brusly High School. Another woman was also injured in the shooting. West Baton Rouge Schools Superintendent Chandler Smith said the district has “ongoing programs” that teach students ways to resolve disputes with their peers without resorting to violence.
“We will re-double those efforts and work with the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, and others in the coming months to teach our students that violence destroys many people’s lives,” he said.
On Sept. 9, school security officer Jeff Lynch was shot in the head while trying to break up a fight after a high school football game in upstate New York. He survived his injuries and was released from the hospital a few days later. Utica City School District (UCSD) Interim Superintendent Kathleen Davis said the district would increase security staff at its football games and move sports practices to more secure areas with security present. UCSD officials also planned to meet with opposing teams’ school leaders to discuss security planning for upcoming games.
The district has also increased security at its schools, including having students show their IDs before going through a weapons detection system.
Gun violence also impacted several special events last school year, including:
- Aug. 2022: Three people, including a child, were shot at a youth football game at Oakland Tech High School in California
- Sept. 2022: A teen was killed and four others were injured when at least two gunmen ambushed them after a football scrimmage at Roxborough High School in Philadelphia
- Jan. 2023: An 18-year-old man fired shots inside Del City High School’s John Smith Fieldhouse after a boys’ basketball game in Oklahoma
- June 2023: Seven people were shot, two fatally, after a gunman opened fire in Monroe Park following Huguenot High School’s graduation ceremony at Richmond’s Altria Theater in Richmond, Virginia
Here are some resources for handling special events that yield large crowds:
- How Jeannette City School District Responded to a Fatal Stadium Shooting
- Need Help Securing Your Events? These Resources Can Help.
- Special Event Plans That Will Keep Your Campus Safe
- Changing Game Day Culture: How Ohio State Reformed Its Fans
- 7 Steps to Improving Stadium and Large Event Security
- The Pros and Cons of Installing Metal Detectors in Schools
- UMS-Wright Prep Updates PA System for Greater Coverage of Outdoor Emergency Notifications
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