Family and friends are coping with the loss of a former Chicago high school basketball star who was shot and killed Thursday in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the Far South Side.
Police said Michael Haynes, 22, was gunned down around 5:10 p.m. near his home in the 11600 block of South Vincennes Avenue. He apparently was trying to break up a fight over a stolen necklace when someone pulled out a gun.
"I was right there," said Haynes' cousin Lester Freeman, who took him to the hospital. "It was like a little argument that blew up to something and it was all friends."
In addition to his success on the basketball court, Haynes' brothers looked up to him, especially after the death of their mother.
"That was like, a father figure for me," said his brother, Marcus Haynes. "He took care of me, basically."
Michael Haynes, a forward from Fenger Academy, recently signed on to attend Iona College in New York for the 2012-13 school year. He would have started playing Division I college basketball for the Iona Gaels this fall.
Even before he signed to play for a college team, local high school coaches were hoping to get Michael Haynes to play for them.
"I was one of the lucky ones to get Mike," said former coach Steve Dockly. "Everybody wanted Mike to go there, but I was the chosen one. I got Mike, and it was a good deal."
The college where he would have played basketball reached out as well.
“The Iona family is devastated with the news on Michael’s passing,” said head coach Tim Cluess in a statement. “His passion, energy and excitement for his opportunity this year makes this tragedy even more upsetting. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Police said Haynes was struck Thursday in the chest, wrist and lower back. He was pronounced dead about an hour after the shooting.
Haynes' Iona teammates issued statements of sadness and frustration Thursday morning.
“I just wanted to take the time to say RIP to Michael Haynes who was supposed to be my teammate at Iona this season," said Senior guard Curtis Dennis. "Condolences to his family. It hurts to see somebody work so hard, struggle for their dream, and go through obstacles just to be stripped of the opportunity to achieve that dream.”
“RIP to my teammate, Mike Haynes," said Junior forward DeSean Anderso. "Man I know he was a great guy and an amazing basketball player and he will be missed.”
Roseland Cease Fire is trying to turn down the heat after they say the alleged perpetrator's home was shot at Thursday night.
"We're in the middle of now, trying to negotiate to make sure there's no retaliation on each side, and no more bodies," said Bob Jackson, who works with the organization.
Michael Haynes' survivors are just trying to remember the best of the young man who showed so much athletic promise.
"Looking at this picture, looking at the smile on his face, that's how I want to remember him," said his uncle Marvin Kimbrough.