CHICAGO — A University of Chicago student who was shot while sitting on a Green Line train last week died Sunday.
Max Lewis, 20, was sitting on the CTA train at the 51st Street Green Line Station around 6:30 p.m. Thursday when he was struck by a stray bullet.
He was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition. The Cook County Medical Examiner reported Lewis died Sunday.
Max’s family drove 14 hours from Denver, Colorado, to be by his side in the hospital.
His mom, Dr. Rebecca Rivkin, told WGN News the bullet paralyzed Max from the neck down. The prognosis was that he would never walk or eat again, and he’d likely need a ventilator for the rest of his life.
Rivkin said, despite his severe injury and suffering, Max was alert in the hospital. He wanted to know what happened to him and communicated with his family and doctors by blinking — once for yes, twice for no. That’s how Rivkin said Max spelled out a message on a letter board, which she wrote down. “If I have to live like this, pull the plug please. Seriously,” it said.
Max was taken off life support Sunday.
“He was incredibly brave to the very end,” said friend Zach Cogan said. “We really lost such an incredible human being who shaped everyone’s life. It’s just so senseless.”
He was pursuing a double major in economics and computer science. Lewis was on his way back from an internship in the Loop when he was shot.
A GoFundMe for the former president of his fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi has already raised over $40,000.
“Max would just help me, we’d do our homework together four-five days a week, we would go on walks together,” Cogan said. “We would just talk freely and like judge free. It was just like one of those things that I can never replicate with anybody else.”
Monday, the university released a statement that said:
The University of Chicago community is devastated by the loss of Max Solomon Lewis, an undergraduate student who has passed away from injuries related to being shot while sitting in an off-campus Chicago Transit Authority elevated train on Thursday, July 1. Our deepest sympathies are with Max’s family, friends, and all who knew him. He was a talented student and beloved individual who will be greatly missed.
Initially, authorities listed his age as 22.