A 14-year-old suburban Chicago teen described as a "model citizen" by those who knew him was gunned down Saturday.
Dajae Coleman, of Evanston, was fatally shot in the 1500 block of Church Street in the near northern suburb as he was leaving a party with a group of friends, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The party was broken up when some guests began to cause trouble, though friends say Coleman did not run in that kind of a crowd. Police told the teen's family that the young honors student and gifted athlete was not the intended target of the shooting, according to ABC Chicago.
"He was never a street kid," Janee Childress told ABC. "He was always somewhere playing basketball, not hanging on the street, always doing something productive with his life."
According to NBC Chicago, Coleman, a freshman at Evanston Township High School, was shot in the chest and later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
In a "belief statement" essay Coleman wrote in his humanities class, the teen wrote that "my friends and family really care about me, they get me things I need, and they make sure I am always doing good in school," Patch reports. The teen's school printed the essay as a tribute on its website with his family's permission.
A fundraiser for Coleman's family will be held at 9 p.m. Thursday at Cafe Sunset, 5726 N. Western Ave.
The investigation into Coleman's shooting death is ongoing.
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