A Chicago teen was shot and killed after his school lost a contentious basketball game Wednesday (Jan. 16). Tyrone Lawson’s mother dropped him off at Chicago State University, for the game, and would never see him alive again.
Lawson was shot as he was running away from a scuffle that erupted, and made its way to the school’s gymnasium floor. “Instead of looking forward to prom, I’m looking for an insurance policy to bury him,” she told the Chicago Tribune.
“It hurts so bad,” his 70-year-old grandmother, Barbara VanHughs, added. “My baby.”
The game between Morgan Park High School and Simeon Career Academy ended with an altercation between the teams, while they were lining up to shake hands. Players were separated by security and their coaches before being taken to different locker rooms.
Simeon coach, Robert Smith, didn’t believe that Lawson’s death was a direct result of the fight. “It’s not a game where we don’t like each other,” he explained. “That’s not it. We’re just competitive and want to win. We’re saddened about what happened after the game. We don’t think the game had any effect on what happened outside. We think it’s an isolated incident, what happened outside. I don’t want people to put the two together.”
Nick Irvin, coach for Morgan Park, shared in Simeon’s sentiments. “We’re trying to have a good clean game,” he said. “It’s a game where a lot of emotions go into it. We don’t ever want to see a kid get hurt or die. We just need to stop the violence in Chicago.”
The two students involved in the incident were suspended from their team’s next regular game.
According to his mom, Lawson sent her a text earlier in the day asking if he could go to the game. Before dropping him off she gave him $17—$10 to get into the game, plus $7 to spend—and told him to “Be careful.”
Lawson was shot twice in the back as he ran away, and died from multiple gunshot wounds.
He is one of many teens who have been gunned down in the city, which had more than 500 homicides in 2012.
Photo: Chicago Tribune