CHICAGO, Illinois -- A student at St. John's University was shot and killed in his hometown of Chicago, in what police believe is a case of mistaken identity.
19-year-old Arshell 'Trey' Dennis III was supposed to fly back to New York Sunday afternoon so he could enter his junior year of college.
Trey was home to surprise his sick mother for her birthday when neighbors say a gunman walked up and started shooting outside a home near 82nd Street and Sacramento, according to police.
His father, Arshell "Chico" Dennis, is a long-time CPD officer and a close, personal friend of Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Arshell "Trey" Dennis III, a graduate of Urban Prep Academy, was a junior studying journalism at St. John's University in New York City. He was slated to go back to school on Sunday.
The Dennis family released the following statement on Sunday: "Our family is deeply saddened by this tragic and senseless shooting. The loss of our son is stunning and painful. Trey was a junior in college at Saint John's University, majoring in journalism. Tragically, we were going to take him to airport today at 3 p.m. to return to school. 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."
Neighbors said people were celebrating a birthday when the gunman walked up and started shooting.
"I knew it was gunshots and I was thinking, just like everybody else thinking now. Everybody is scared... my neighbor came out very upset, crying," said Carol, a neighbor.
According to a CPD spokesperson, Superintendent Johnson spoke with the victim's father Sunday morning.
"As always, the men and women of the CPD will stop at nothing to find who was responsible and bring a sense of closure and justice to Officer Dennis and all of families affected by violence," said Johnson in a statement. "But in order to address the root of this violence, we must change the way the criminal justice system treats the reckless, repeat gun offenders who are causing this violence and send a clear message that when you are involved in gun crimes you will be held accountable."
On Sunday, a single CPD officer stood guard outside the Dennis home.
Police say another man was in serious condition after the shooting. No one has been arrested.
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