Chicago Mother Pleaded with Son, 16, Not to Go Downtown–Now He’s Dead

FILE - People enjoy the Cloud Gate (The Bean) in Millennium Park in Chicago, Dec. 30, 2012. A 17-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder after a 16-year-old boy was fatally shot Saturday, May 14, 2022, near "The Bean" sculpture in downtown Chicago's Millennium Park, which is among the …
Nam Y. Huh File/AP

A Chicago mother is mourning the loss of her son, who was gunned down right in the middle of one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions in its busy shopping district as crime in the Windy City continues to spin out of control.

Seandell Holliday, 16, was shot and killed among a crowd of teens in Chicago’s Millennium Park on Saturday, May 14. It was a trip downtown that his mother Chanell pleaded with him not to take.

“He wants to live to 21,” Chanell said, according to ABC 7. “I told him not to go. I said you’re not going downtown.”

The Chicago Police say they have arrested Marion Richardson, 17, who was caught running from the scene of the shooting near the popular tourist spot, featuring the giant metallic, mirrored Bean sculpture in Millennium Park off the city’s Mag Mile shopping district.

Investigators say that Richardson was arguing with a girl from another group when the victim jumped in and punched the suspect in the head.

But Richardson reacted by pulling out a gun and firing at Holliday, hitting him square in the chest, police said.

Richardson is being held on a $250,000 cash bond, ABC 7 added.

Sadly, it seems that Holliday once predicted that he would not reach the age of 21. Teacher Vondale Singleton told the Sun-Times that Holliday wrote up a list of ten things he wanted to do if he reached the age of 21.

“I asked him, ‘Why did you put that?’” Singleton said. “He said because there are a lot of things that happen in Chicago, you see so many kids lose their lives at early ages. … He couldn’t even make it to 17.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to the shooting by issuing a 10 p.m. curfew for young people.

“Anyone coming into our public spaces should be able to enjoy them safely,” Lightfoot said Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Young people are absolutely welcome downtown but in the evening hours they must be accompanied by a responsible adult.”

Crime has been soaring in Chicago. Several weeks ago, the city’s top cop, David O. Brown, even tacitly admitted that crime has intruded into areas of the city that were once considered safe.

Brown told reporters that the department is seeing crime “displacement issues,” meaning crime is occurring in usually safe areas of the city.

“We’re starting to see increases in areas that we normally don’t have those increases,” Brown said, the Chicago Sun-Times reported early this month.

Still, Brown demurred at agreeing with reporters that crime was up in the Loop and other once safer neighborhoods. “I don’t want to separate downtown part from other neighborhoods. The neighborhood is like any other neighborhood in the city,” he insisted.

Chicago’s Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office talking about defunding the city’s police force. In 2020 she announced plans to cut $80 million from the Chicago Police Department.

Eventually, she reached an agreement with the City Council to cut $59 million from the police budget, the Daily Mail reported in March.

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