Relatives speak about shot college-bound teen

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Relatives of a teenager who was just more than a month away from heading off to college are now talking about his killing.

Marcel Pearson, 17, was supposed to be at his college orientation Thursday. Today, his family is planning his funeral.

They say one of the things that make this so sad is he was so close to leaving the violence of this neighborhood behind him.

“He got goals,” Pearson’s cousin Crystal Bell said. “You got these other guys in the hood who don’t have goals. And so he’s trying to go to college and make something out of his life, and that’s what makes it so different and rare.”

Pearson, who just graduated from Johnson College Prep, was killed Tuesday night while he was hanging out with friends in Robichaux Park in the Brainerd neighborhood, according to police. Witnesses say the shooter got out of a white minivan and hit Pearson in the chest and back. A 15-year-old was also hit in the leg.

Pearson was planning to go to Western Illinois University next fall.

“He’s so smart,” another of the victim’s cousins, Trimitka Powell, said. “He didn’t follow crowds; he did his own thing. He didn’t have to go to school, he didn’t have to graduate high school, he certainly didn’t have to go off to college, but he did.”

“He was the first male in our family to get accepted into college and would have been the first male to go.”

The family says funeral arrangements for the teenager are still pending at this time.

There are no suspects in custody. However, a reward for information may be put up soon.

RELATED: College-bound teen fatally shot

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