Updated 04/07/14 – 5:05 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Students at Simeon Career Academy High School were mourning the death of a classmate and promising athlete who became the latest victim of gun violence in Chicago this weekend.
Michael Flournoy III, 16, a sophomore who was on the football and wrestling teams at Simeon, was shot and killed near a relative’s house Saturday night. His family said he was walking to the store to buy a bag of chips when he came across a car full of girls in the 1000 block of East 93rd Street.
Police said when he stopped to talk to the girls, he got into a dispute with a man in the car. His mother said, moments later, he was jumped, beaten, and shot in the face.
“I don’t know what’s going to make this feel better, because I won’t see that smile again,” his mother, Tymeka Woods, said after visiting the scene of the shooting Sunday.
Monday morning, his classmates said they’ll really miss him, and it will be difficult to see an empty seat in class.
“It’s really sad to know that he’s not going to be there today,” said his friend, Kiara Daniels.
She said her first period Spanish class won’t be the same without Flournoy there.
“He was really funny. He always put a smile on everybody’s face. He was really nice,” she said.
Fellow sophomore Javaurius Montgomery said it was shocking to hear his friend had been killed over the weekend.
“He was the last person I thought anything like this would ever happen to,” Montgomery said. “He would be quick to help you. He’s outgoing. He’s friendly. … He was just a joy to be around.”
Flournoy’s family said he stayed away from drugs and gangs, and had never been arrested.
“Everybody’s got a day coming … but I didn’t expect his day to come so early,” Montgomery said.
Woods was so protective of her son, she seldom even let him go to parties.
“He would laugh, because I would be sitting right outside of the party, because I’ve always had a fear of the things that’s going on outside. I just feel like this time, I dropped the ball,” she said.
Flournoy was visiting some relatives on Saturday. He was walking in the 1000 block of East 93rd Street around 8 p.m., when he tried to talk to some girls in a car. A man with them objected. A fight broke out and the man left, but not for good.
“The guy told them they’d better not be out there when he comes back,” Woods said.
Flournoy went back out for a bag of chips, and was gunned down.
Fellow Simeon students, including his football and wrestling teammates, paid their respects by visiting the scene of the shooting, and leaving balloons and cards at a makeshift shrine on the sidewalk.
“He was a great guy. He had a great attitude, stayed positive, was very humble. He didn’t really get into a lot of trouble,” Malik Allen said.
Flournoy’s family has been left seeking justice, but questioning what it’s really worth.
“Is it really justice when they go to jail?” Woods said. “At the end of the day, my child is gone.”
About three weeks ago, Flournoy was mugged about a block away from his home. He told his mother he would not live in fear.
“They have an individual they might want to talk to, a person of interest,” said Holmes.
Holmes says his offer of a $1,000 reward has already triggered 40 phone calls, but they’re still waiting for an eyewitness who can identify the shooter.
“They have have a description of the car. We’re looking for someone to come forward with the license plates and someone just to stand up,” said Holmes.