BLUE ISLAND, Ill. — A man is dead after being shot and killed shortly before a youth football game near Memorial Park in Blue Island Sunday evening.
“As we were going on the field, we heard what we thought were fireworks then we saw fans running back towards the stadium,” said Durand Hodges, a parent and coach of the Garfield Park Gators 10U AYFL football team. “In the parking lot, there was an altercation and someone had been shot.”
Hodges said fans from a previous game between the 13U Elmhurst Bears and Dixmoor Vikings were seen arguing inside the stadium, and the altercation spilled outside.
According to the Blue Island Police Department (BIPD), officers were called to the 12800 block of Highland Avenue around 7:30 p.m. for a person who was shot. When officers arrived, they found a 32-year-old man from Chicago who had been shot in the neck.
The victim was taken from the scene by ambulance to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
“It’s so senseless,” Durand said. “Kids can’t even play football—something keeping them away from the street and [is a] positive influence in their life, they can’t even do that.”
The victim’s name is being withheld, pending notification of family members, according to BIPD.
Anyone with information that could assist police’s investigation into this incident can contact BIPD’s Investigative Unit at 708-396-7006.