CHICAGO — The mentor of the 16-year-old fatally shot in Millennium Park says one of the teen’s goals was to live to see the age of 21.
Vondale Singleton of CHAMPS Male Mentoring, a mentoring program for young men at Gary Comer College Prep, called Seandell Holliday a “very intellectual” teen.
Holliday was shot and killed Saturday night near The Bean. Prosecutors have charged 17-year-old Marion Richardson with second-degree murder in connection with Holliday’s death.
Prosecutors say the shooting stemmed from a previous incident, alleging that Holliday initiated the incident.
“He was never contentious,” Singleton said. “Never had any behavior issues out of Seandell.”
Speaking with WGN News on Monday, Singleton reflected on one of many goals the 16-year-old wrote.
“He wrote his 10 goals at the beginning of the year. He handed them to me, handwritten goals, with the disclaimer ‘if I make it to 21,'” Singletons said. “I asked Seandell in front of the other brothers, ‘Why did you write that?’ I want to hear your rationale? When he told me, ‘Mr. Singleton, there’s a lot that happens in the city, where a lot of young people end up getting shot and killed, so that’s why I put ‘if I make it.'”
Singleton called the admission a sobering reminder of the lack of resources and opportunities for young people in the city that lead to large unsupervised gatherings and often violence.
After the shooting, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposed a limited curfew, “effective immediately,” for unaccompanied minors in Millennium Park after 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
“Here’s the thing, if we’re going, we have to go with an agenda,” Singleton said. “It has to be structured fun. We deserve to be downtown, but it can’t just be hanging out because not everybody is not disciplined. Not everyone knows how to manage their emotions.”