The first 911 call from a fatal fight on Long Beach, Ind., was released over the weekend.
A bystander called for help, saying she heard yelling between about 20 teenagers. Moments later, she saw 17-year-old Kevin Kennelly lying on the beach.
“He’s unconscious on the beach,” the caller tells the 911 operator. “He’s breathing, but there’s blood coming out of his nose, and it’s like pooled.”
The fight broke out on the 4th of July at Stop 26, a popular party spot on the beach. Kennelly was hit in the head. He died two days later.
Saturday morning at St. Barnabas in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, Kennelly’s parents, Kevin and Jean, said their final goodbyes to their only son.
Friends and classmates of the would-be Mt. Carmel senior served as pallbearers.
“We're feeling it pretty hard here. He was a great kid, very quiet kid,” said family friend Todd Hughes. “His dad said it best the other day, that he was a peacemaker.”
According to police, Kennelly may have lost his life trying to intervene and stop an argument on the beach from escalating. James Malacek, a 19-year old Loyola graduate, is accused of throwing the fatal punch. Despite that accusation, his neighbors fiercely defend him.
“He's wonderful. I hope that people will respect them and be kind to them, and give them space to sort things through,” a neighbor told us. “Just understand that Jake … is a good kid. He really is.”
Hughes echoed that call for calm.
“There's only two ways you can move, even in death. That's the positive and negative direction, and I hope that everyone chooses the positive, because that's what he would have wanted for us to do,” Hughes said.