Former CPS hoops star one of five shot dead in 12 hours in Chicago
Suntimes.com: After a stint in junior college, the former Washington High hoops star who could dribble like a point guard and rebound like a big man had finally landed a scholarship to play big-time college basketball at Iona College in New York.
He hoped this would be his shot at playing in the NBA, where he hoped to face off with Bulls star Derrick Rose, who during his days as a high school stud at Simeon High crushed Haynes’ shot at a city championship in 2006. “That’s all over now,” Haynes’ cousin Lester Freeman said, hanging his head.
On Thursday, Haynes was shot dead in the street while trying to stop two guys from the neighborhood from a fight over a stolen necklace near 116th and Vincennes, less than a block from his home. The 22-year-old was one of five men who were shot and killed over 12 hours in Chicago. So far this year, there have been 302 murders, a 30 percent increase from 2011. In the spring, the number of murders was 66 percent higher than the previous year.
Haynes’ family and neighborhood folks grieved the loss of the one guy — a guy everybody loved — they thought would make it big. “In a couple more days, he would be fulfilling his dreams,” said his uncle, Martin Kimbrough, 52. “My family is devastated.”
When they (Haynes and Freeman) got back to the block at about 5 p.m., a couple guys from the neighborhood were arguing — possibly over a stolen necklace — down the block from his house. Haynes tried to break up the fight, but it didn’t go as planned. The guys were pushing and shoving each other. It was out of control. Haynes punched one of them.
Freeman saw the whole thing from down the block. It didn’t seem like a big deal. “We’ve fought each other a million times,” Freeman said. “No one ever pulled a gun and shot anyone. We hung out with these people our whole life.”
The guy Haynes punched didn’t punch back. Instead, he pulled out a gun and started firing. The fight ended. People scattered. Haynes took bullets in the wrist, chest and lower back. The back of his white shirt was wet with blood.
Haynes pulled himself up and walked toward home where Freeman’s car was parked. Freeman helped Haynes get in and drove to the nearest hospital he could think of, MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island. Other members of Haynes’ family followed in a separate car.
“He ways saying, ‘Just get me there. I want to make it,’ ” Freeman said. “I want to hoop, bro. Get me there. I want to hoop. I want to live. I can get over this.”
Freeman got Haynes in a wheelchair and pushed him into the emergency room. Haynes was conscious, so Freeman wasn’t worried. When other cousins showed up, Freeman went home.
“I thought I was going to get a call from the hospital, ‘Bro, I’m good,’” Freeman said. Sometime after 6:30 p.m., the phone finally rang. Freeman listened to the voice on the line. He couldn’t believe what heard. “He’s dead. He’s gone.”
Tragic loss of life for Michael Haynes and his family. They must be devastated and prayers for them.