Family of Urban Prep Student Killed: “You Can Ball Forever Now”

An Urban Prep Academy student and athlete was killed in a shooting in Chicago Monday night that also left a another man wounded.

Deonte M. Hoard, 17, was the first Urban Prep student to be killed while enrolled in one of the schools, Urban Prep founder and CEO Tim King said in a statement. The network of all-boys public schools, recognized over the years for having its whole senior class admitted to colleges, was founded in 2002, according to the charter schools’ website.

“We will remember a young man full of promise and potential, well-liked by teachers and friends, and loved by his family,” King said.

Hoard was a member of the school's basketball and track teams, and had been admitted to several colleges, King said. He was scheduled to receive his ceremonial tie during this week’s “On to the Next One Ceremony” for seniors who had been admitted to college.

"We ain't standing here for tears of sorrow, we're standing here for tears of joy because we know now you're in a better place," said Hoard's sister Dashay Martin. "You can ball forever now."

Hoard was walking a block away from his home in the 10500 block of South Yates Avenue when gunfire erupted from a black SUV about 7:20 p.m., authorities said. Hoard was shot in the chest and died at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, which ruled the death a homicide. Police said a 23-year-old man was also wounded in the shooting and was treated for a graze wound to the head at Advocate Trinity Hospital.

At a vigil with Hoard's family Tuesday night, gunshots echoed in the air, sending many running for cover.

"This needs to stop, it really does," said Hoard's mother Ebony Martin. "It really needs to stop, our young kids. It needs to stop."

Police said no one has been charged in the murder but Area South detectives are investigating.

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