The teenage son of a Chicago police officer was shot and killed, just hours before he was scheduled to return to college in New York, according to local reports.
Arshell “Trey” Dennis III, 19, was killed in the early hours of Aug. 14 as he sat on the porch of his mother’s home in Chicago’s Wrightwood neighborhood, the Chicago Police Department said.
Dennis was shot in the chest and taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. The St. John’s University journalism student is the son of veteran officer Arshell “Chico” Dennis.
The Dennis family released a statement to Chicago media.
“Our family is deeply saddened by this tragic and senseless shooting. The loss of our son is stunning and painful. Tragically, we were going to take him to airport today at 3 p.m. to return to school,” read the statement.
“Now because of this senseless violence, we will be grieving and planning his funeral. Trey was smart, funny, and the light of our lives. We ask for privacy at this time as we collect ourselves and deal with this stunning loss.”
Arshell Dennis spoke about growing up in Chicago in an April 2015 interview conducted by his college roommate, Kyle Depina.
“It’s a pretty nice place. I like it, I grew up there. It’s kinda bad being a youth there, but you know it teaches you a lot of stuff,” he said. “I do appreciate the fact that I am where I am. A lot of people don’t make it out.”
The police department believes Dennis’s murder was a case of mistaken identity.
“There was nothing in the victim’s history that would suggest he is involved or associated in gangs, and he had no criminal record. Neither of the victims have criminal history or gang history or history with the CPD,” Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
A 20-year-old man was also shot and is listed in serious condition, according to police.
No arrests have been made.
Dennis is among one of 9 people killed in shootings across Chicago this past weekend.