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Chicago Fire Youth Player Killed By Gunman

By Kim Bellware in News on Apr 29, 2011 9:25PM

Kabiru Adewunmi. (Image via Chicago Fire Juniors North website).
Kabiru Adewunmi, a 16-year-old member of the Chicago Fire's Juniors North team, was shot and killed Tuesday night in a Chatham convenience store.

The Tribune reports that prior to the incident, Adewunmi had been celebrating the Chicago Bull's playoff win with five friends from his native Nigeria. Adewunmi and his friends then walked to a convenience store near the 800 block of East 82nd Street where a gunman opened fire on the teen. The Sun-Times reports that Adewunmi was later found unresponsive in a nearby alley and rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:30 that night at Jackson Park Hospital.

According to the Tribune report, investigators indicated that the shooting may have been gang-related, though Adewunmi was not known to have any gang connections, according to those who knew him. A recent transplant to the neighborhood, Adewunmi was commuting roughly two hours each way to the Ravenswood neighborhood where he was a sophomore at Amundsen High School. Adewunmi moved to Chicago from Nigeria less than a year ago after securing a spot on the Fire's highly competitive youth development team.

Sole Antonijevic, Adewunmi's coach for the Chicago Fire Academy's 17-and-under team, told the Tribune that Adewunmi was already attracting attention from from Division 1 collegiate programs. Antonijevic indicated that the young player's talents were so promising, he could have likely anticipated a professional soccer career as well. Jorie Malone, Adewunmi's ESL teacher at Amundsen shared with reporters Adewunmi's hopes for his future:

"[He] hoped a high school diploma and a good ACT score would be followed by admission to an American college with a top soccer program."

As of this morning, authorities still have no one in custody for the attack.