Kevin Kennelly, 17-Year-Old Beverly Boy, Dies After Fourth Of July Attack At Indiana Beach

07/07/2011 11:53 am ET | Updated Sep 05, 2011

A 17-year-old boy who called Chicago's Beverly neighborhood home has died from injuries sustained during an alleged brawl on a beach in Long Beach, Ind., Monday evening.

Kevin Kennelly, who lived on the 9900 block of South Damen Avenue, was pronounced dead on Wednesday morning. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, he had intervened in a fight at a section of the beach called "Stop 26," a well-known underage drinking spot, Monday evening. He was hit in the head, according to a Long Beach police officer, and was beaten unconscious.

(Scroll down to watch interviews with friends of Kennelly and his family.)

The exact cause of Kennelly's death will not be known until an autopsy is completed Thursday, but an arrest warrant has been issued for James Kieffer Malecek, 19, who allegedly was responsible for the blow that took Kennelly's life. Malecek has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, felony aggravated battery and battery. A $25,000 cash bond has been attached to his warrant.

Kennelly was a an only child, according to NBC Chicago, whose father is a firefighter and mother is a vision and hearing screener for Chicago Public Schools. His mother was also an active volunteer at St. Barnabas Elementary. The Sun-Times reported he was heading into his senior year at Mount Carmel High School and played on the varsity baseball team last year.

In a prayer service held Tuesday evening, some 500 community members gathered while the boy remained on life support. The Rev. William Malloy, of St. Barnabas Catholic Church, where Kennelly was a parishioner, described the boy as "well-liked, absolutely, and he's a leader with many, many friends" to the Sun-Times.

UPDATE: The Sun-Times is reporting that Malacek, the man sought by police in the beating death of Kennelly, turned himself in to authorities Thursday. He reportedly arrived at the LaPorte County Jail at 12:25 p.m. An autopsy performed earlier that day confirmed Kennelly died of a blunt force trauma to the head and his death was ruled a homicide.

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