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Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

2 Simeon High School Students Killed In Separate Shootings On Same Day

The 15-year-old boys were shot just four hours apart on Tuesday afternoon. One of the boys lost his father to gun violence, too, a pastor said.

Kentrell McNeal (left), 15, was one of two Simeon High School students shot and killed Tuesday. He was a member of GoodKidsMadCity-Englewood, a youth organization that fights to end gun violence. Jamari Williams, 15, was also killed Tuesday in a separate incident.
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CHATHAM — Two Simeon High School students were shot and killed Tuesday on the South Side.

About 2:30 p.m., Jamari Williams, 15, was at a shopping center in the 8300 block of South Holland Road down the street from Simeon when someone in a black car drove up and fired shots, police said. More than a dozen shots were heard, according to reports.

Williams was hit in his chest and taken to University of Chicago Hospital in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead, police said.

Just four hours later, about 6:30 p.m., two boys, ages 14 and 15, were shot in the 5200 block of Lake Park Avenue outside a Hyde Park McDonald’s, police said.

One of the boys, Kentrell McNeal, 15, was pronounced dead 9:33 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The younger boy was left in critical condition.

McNeal was also a student at Simeon High School, 8147 S. Vincennes Ave., according to CBS Chicago. He was a member of GoodKids MadCity, a youth organization that fights to end violence, according to the group.

Boy’s Father Also Victim Of Gun Violence

Rev. Donovan Price, known in the neighborhood for his street ministry, said he met Williams’ family at the scene of the shooting before traveling to the hospital.

Along the way, he learned one of Williams’ family members was a recent victim of gun violence, he said.

“The memories started to come up that [Jamari’s] father had gotten shot and killed in the past year,” Price said.

Williams was a member of the junior varsity football team, friends and family said.

“Football was his thing, and he had really hoped and dreamed of playing for Simeon,” Price said family members told him. “He dreamed of playing and giving his people a better life through football.”

Following news of the shootings, support began to pour out from the community.

Detectives are investigating both shootings. No one was in custody.

Another Simeon student, Zmaya Bell, 18, died of coronavirus in March, according to the Chicago Teachers Union and Medical Examiner’s Office.

Price said what youth face in neighborhoods plagued by violence “is deeper than people know.”

“When you get the kids ready and send them off to school for the day, you don’t really ever think about them not returning home,” Price said. “But here, we have to realize that that’s a reality and a possibility. What’s going on with young people today is deeper than people know. We need to embrace young people and their dreams.”

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