Mentor, former college athlete shot and killed near U of C

CHICAGO -- Police are searching for suspects in a shooting that killed a former college football player just one block from the University of Chicago.

23-year-old Xavier Joy was shot and killed in a parking lot near 62nd and Ingleside in the Woodlawn neighborhood on Thursday night.

His girlfriend Gabriela Sanchez was on the phone with him shortly before.

“I heard someone say to him, ‘Hey what else do you have?’” she said. “He knows people over there and I figured it was someone he knew. It didn’t raise any alarms for me. He’s a big, strong guy.”

She says he told her his phone was about to die and he would call her back.

He never did.

“It was over a phone,” Gabriela said.

She says he died with his wallet and his car keys still on him.

Joy was a graduate of Whitney Young High School. He played football at Morehouse College before coming home to Chicago to teach chess, math and science to young kids.

“This is someone that gave back to their community,” his mother said. “He worked in some of the worst schools that we have in our community and it’s not OK that they took his life.”

He was murdered just two blocks from his family’s home after parking his car in this lot in the 6200 block of South Ingleside.

His father is the Executive Director of "Change Illinois," which says on its website, it is a coalition that leads systemic political and government reform.

Friday afternoon neighbors who heard the gunshots started a memorial in the area.

Police are investigating.