‘We Did Everything Right': 22-Year-Old Fatally Shot in Chicago Flagged Down Police for Help

“We did everything right and yet we are sitting here with the same pain as other people and I just don’t understand,” his mother said

Courtney Copeland’s last words before he was fatally shot in Chicago early Friday morning were a plea for help, his family said.

Questions surround the 22-year-old’s death, including why he was shot and who shot him.

Family members said Copeland was leaving Pizano's Pizza just before 1 a.m. to head to a friend’s house near Grand and Central avenues. But what happened in the next 15 minutes remains a mystery.

Copeland called and told his friend he was outside, but when the friend came downstairs to let him in, Copeland was nowhere to be found, family said.

According to authorities, Copeland drove himself up to officers outside of the Grand and Central police station around 1:15 a.m. asking for help. He had been shot in the back.

“When he saw an officer, he jumped out and didn’t even put his car in park and told them he’d been shot,” Copeland's mother Shapearl Wells said. “Then he collapsed and that’s all we know.”

Copeland was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

“We did everything right and yet we are sitting here with the same pain as other people and I just don’t understand,” Wells said.

Chris Pineda was the last person to see Copeland before he was shot.

"He impacted my life on a whole different level, Pineda said. "He made me who I am today."

Family members said Copeland played basketball at Jones College Prep, where he won a championship before graduating. He started college at Indiana Dabney University but then decided to pursue his work at Worldventures travel service, where family says he lived his dreams exploring the world.

“He loved life, loved to travel,” Wells said. “Loved to have fun. He loved everybody.”

Felix Hernandez was Copeland's friend for 15 years.

"We had our own handshake, we had our own hugs," Felix said. "He was just the type of person that, it was infectious, you wanted to be around him."

Police have released few details on the shooting but said an investigation is ongoing.

“He definitely wasn’t the intended target because he doesn’t have it in him,” Wells said. “This is a person who doesn’t have an enemy in the world. Not a single person would want to hurt him.”

Contact Us