CHICAGO -- Everett Henderson was a star running back at Chicago Vocational Academy who drew the interest of several Division One schools, but now those dreams are in all likelihood shattered after he was shot Saturday, just several hours after playing a game against Rich East in Park Forest.
The 17-year-old was on his front porch on 109th and Eberhart Saturday evening when police say a gray car drove by and someone inside pulled the trigger, hitting him in the back, stomach, chest and right hand. He was rushed to Christ hospital in Oak Lawn in critical condition, where he remains.
By some accounts, Henderson was having a breakout season for the Cavaliers, a well-established football program whose graduates include Bears great Dick Butkus. He was piling up rushing yards and impressing scouts at schools like Western Michigan and Northern Illinois. Coach Larry Williams described Henderson as a special player and young man.
“Everett is a game changer, who makes a lot of things happen on and off the field,” he said.
Williams believes Henderson was the unintended target, or maybe even it was a case of mistaken identity, because he was making a point of staying away from so-called wrong crowd.
On his block, neighbors who’ve known him for years are still trying to digest the news of yet another Chicago victim of gun violence.
“I'm just shocked. I don't talk to him much anymore but I see him almost every day ...it's crazy,” said a neighbor.
While police continue to investigate who’s responsible, back at school senior classmate Tenashsa says shootings among her peers have become far too common.
"Unfortunately it's not that much of a shocker this it's happened to person around my age,” they said. “I hope he gets well.
But now the focus is on making a complete recovery, Williams said.
“Everett's a fighter he's going to fight to the end,” he said.
Photos of Everett Henderson courtesy of ThePublicLeague.com.