A suburban Northbrook family says they're devastated after their 18-year-old son, a standout football player who was awarded a full-ride college scholarship, was fatally shot while visiting relatives in Chicago.
Miles Thompson was found shot to death early Thursday on the city's West Side - just one day before celebrating his birthday.
Thompson, a graduate of Glenbrook North High School, was an all-conference defensive MVP who excelled on and off the field. The 18-year-old achieved a full-ride scholarship to Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
"He had started his own trucking and logistics business and started his LLC," said Thompson's stepfather, Michael Cooper. "He was ready to take life by the horns."
Family members told NBC 5 that Thompson drove to the city's Austin neighborhood Wednesday night to visit his father. He had just parked his car in an alley behind his father's house, when according to family, a group of men jumped out and shot him.
"You know this wasn’t about money, This wasn’t about taking his car, because they took nothing," Cooper said.
The teenager's 9-year-old brother made the heartbreaking discovery Thursday morning.
"He saw him out the window and was wondering why his brother was laying outside on the ground, he went out to investigate," Cooper said. "Unfortunately, he saw the worst thing he could possibly imagine."
As the suburban teen's family expresses their grief and mourns the loss of their loved one, Chicago activists and community leaders continue to demand an end to gun violence.
Rev. Michael Pfleger, the senior pastor of Saint Sabina Church, led a peace walk on 79th Street Friday evening, along with former U.S. Secretary of Education and Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan.
Participants called for shootings to stop and pushed for job programs as well as other resources to stop the cycle of violence.
"Let’s all get in a room, lock the door, talk, get a plan and save our children," Pfleger said.
According to Chicago police, no arrests have been made in Thompson's fatal shooting, and it remains unclear exactly when he was shot. Detectives are continuing to review surveillance video in hope of learning more about what led up to the shooting.