CHICAGO — Classes were canceled on Friday at a downtown high school after a member of the administration was killed in a shooting at a high-rise apartment building in the Loop.
According to the Chicago Police Department, it was a verbal altercation Thursday evening that investigators believe led to a shooting on the 29th floor.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man killed as 32-year-old Abnerd Joseph, who school officials confirm was the assistant principal of Culture at Intrinsic Schools’ downtown campus.
Investigators visited the apartment building throughout the day on Friday to try and piece together what led to the shooting.
Police say they responded to a report of a person shot inside the high-rise near East Monroe and Wabash at around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Joseph, who had been shot several times, in a hallway. Joseph was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead from his injuries.
While the investigation is ongoing, police say it appears that Joseph was in a verbal altercation with another man who pulled out a gun and shot him.
Some residents inside the apartment building told WGN News they believe there is more to the story.
Audio from police dispatch reveals details about the moments leading up to the fatal shooting.
“We’re getting a ‘check the well-being’ at 60 East Monroe, someone screaming on the 29th floor. It’s also coming in as a criminal trespass in progress,” a police dispatcher said. “There’s a male that’s going down the hall, trying to break into apartments on the floor. He does not know the male.”
Several residents told WGN News that Joseph had allegedly been violently knocking on doors on several floors in the building and allegedly assaulted several people in the building before the shooting.
Police say a 45-year-old man was taken into custody after the shooting, but has since been released, Chicago police said.
Following the news of his death, some of Joseph’s students say they are in shock over the loss of their beloved assistant principal.
“He had a big smile on his face, he ain’t never hurt nobody. I don’t know why they did this,” Arnell Climons, a student at Intrinsic Schools, said.
According to the school’s website, Joseph became an assistant principal with Intrinsic Schools in 2022, focusing on school climate, student discipline, school-wide transitions and procedures, and student safety. Prior to moving to Chicago, a website biography said Joseph spent a decade as an educator, including five years as an algebra and life sciences teacher, and five years as an assistant principal.
“We are deeply saddened and shocked by the loss of Mr. Joseph who served our school as an empathetic leader, role model and inspiration for our students. We are communicating this tragedy to our community and providing any support needed to both students and his colleagues during this difficult time. Our hearts are with Mr. Joseph’s family,” Intrinsic School officials said in a statement Friday.
Students say Joseph was kind and caring and always had their backs, even outside of school.
“He left a huge impact that we will always remember,” said Armarion Stewart, a student at Intrinsic Schools said. “I never think I’d see this day or hear about this.”
WGN reached out to management with the apartment building where the shooting took place, but they declined to comment.