Second Urban Prep student fatally shot within a week on West Side

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - For the second time in a week, a student at Chicago’s Urban Prep Academy has been shot to death on the city’s West Side, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Malik McNeese, 16, was fatally shot Jan. 3 in the 3400 block of West Fulton, authorities said. Stevie Jefferson, 17, was also killed in the shooting and a 65-year-old woman was wounded by a stray bullet.

McNeese was a sophomore at the school’s West Campus, located in the University Village neighborhood, according to an email sent by Urban Prep founder and CEO Tim King to the school community. He is the fifth student or alumnus of Urban Prep to be killed since the start of 2016.

McNeese and Jefferson were standing outside about noon when a black SUV pulled up and someone inside opened fire, striking McNeese in the head, back and arm. Jefferson was also shot in the head, according to police.

The 65-year-old woman was inside her home when a stray bullet ripped through her door and struck her in the leg, police said.

No one is in custody for the shooting and McNeese’s family did not respond to interview requests Friday night.

On Facebook, a woman who said she is McNeese’s mother wrote that her son “was no gang member” who befriended the “wrong people.” She described McNeese as “respectful, honest, happy.”

King said McNeese’s mother asked that her son be buried in his school uniform.

“Let our grief be tempered by the knowledge that the young men who graduate from Urban Prep, with a diploma in one hand and a college admissions letter in the other, are up to the challenge of changing our world for good,” King said. “We are humbled by that request and we will honor it; just as we honor Malik McNeese, a child robbed of his life and future.”

On Dec. 28, 19-year-old Yuri Hardy, a senior at the Urban Prep West Campus, was fatally shot while leaving a dance competition in Austin.

After Hardy’s death, King wrote: “It is difficult for me to comprehend that I’m writing yet another letter to you about another senseless act of violence against a member of our community.”

“We must not allow these data to become their destiny,” he added.