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Kevin Ambrose, 19-year-old Columbia College student, killed in drive-by shooting

Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Kevin Ambrose

Columbia College is mourning the loss of a student killed in drive-by shooting. Kevin Ambrose, 19, was an artist and poet, according to his friends.

Ambrose had just finished his first year of college. He was an artist, poet, and actor studying theater at Columbia. Friends say he had a creative soul and ambitious heart.

"He didn't have any doubt that he wasn't going to make it at all. He knew that he was going to be successful. Knew it," Justin Harris, victim's friend, said.

Ambrose was shot in the back Tuesday around 11 p.m. while walking to the CTA Green Line stop near 47th and South Prairie. He was on his way to meet a friend, Michael Dye, who was getting off the train, because he didn't think it was safe for Dye to walk alone at night.

"I step on the platform, and I see him running. I didn't know it was him at first, but he's running. And next thing you know, I hear three or four shots," Dye said.

Police say the bullets were fired from a light-colored sedan just south of the train stop. Ambrose tried to escape the shots by sprinting through an empty lot. He ended up just below the tracks.

"He called out to me to tell me to call somebody. I was the last person he saw, and the last person he could talk to," Dye said.

Ambrose died at Stroger Hospital. His grieving mother said her son had no enemies.

"I always said, 'You know, watch yourself,' every time he walked out of the door because it's Chicago," Ebony Ambrose said. "There's no possible way that the person who did this actually knew my son."

Ambrose did his best to avoid the perils of urban life. He was active in after school programs, including one with the Joffrey Ballet.

"Ninety-eight percent of me knows it wasn't my fault. But that two-percent is strong, and it's in my head telling me you should've walked by yourself," Dye said.

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