Vigil held at Gill Park to honor Chicago baseball player shot to death

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A vigil and balloon release was held Saturday to honor Torrence Sumerlin Jr., a former Whitney Young and Southeastern University baseball player who was shot and killed in the Near West Side neighborhood Friday morning.

Sumerlin Jr. was shot to death in the 2400 block of West Polk Street at approximately 10:40 a.m. Friday morning, standing near the trunk of his car with the trunk open.

He was shot in the chest and later died at Stroger Hospital.

Sumerlin Jr. had a passion for collecting and selling sneakers, and he was killed doing just that, his mother Carla Summerlin said.

“I sat down and didn’t know how to feel. Couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. He was a good one. Too good to go out like that,” Carla Sumerlin said.

Carla said the 26-year-old was a ray of light who had a full personality and a deep passion for baseball. One of his crowning accomplishments was being part of a championship team at Southeastern University.

Southeastern University baseball coach Adrian Dinkel mourned the loss of Sumerlin Jr. in a statement.

“This one is extremely hard to chest for all of us. It’s painful to lose a family member; Torrence was the heartbeat of the best team/family in SEU baseball history. He left a lasting impact on all of our hearts. We all loved him and we’re going to miss him. I truly believe the Lord called on Torrence to lead his team. Love you T,” Dinkel said.

A scholarship will be named in Sumerlin Jr.’s honor to be awarded to a baseball player from Chicago each year.

Torrence’s family said he just recently bought a property in the city and planned on renting it out.

A wake will be held Friday August 27 at Montclair-Lucania Funeral Home at 4 p.m. Funeral services will be held Saturday August 28 at 9 a.m. at Whitney Young High School.

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