South Side high schooler featured on CNN’s ‘Chicagoland’ series shot, wounded

Written By BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporter Posted: 08/03/2014, 11:00am
Array Promotional materials for “Chicagoland” feature Elizabeth Dozier sandwiched between Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A South Side high school student who was featured on the CNN series “Chicagoland” was shot and wounded Saturday, his family said.

Lee McCollum Jr., 20 — one of the Fenger Academy High School students featured on the series examining life in Chicago — was leaving his grandfather’s Roseland house around 7 a.m., on his way to his 7:30 a.m. at a Wendy’s restaurant. That’s when he was shot twice in the right leg, McCollum’s father and grandfather said.

His son was portrayed on the CNN series earlier this year as a kid who had turned his life around, from street thug to student leader, with plans for college.

McCollum Jr. has been working his fast-food job for several months to save money for college, his father said.

“He’s doing the right thing, and then he gets shot,” Lee McCollum Sr. said.

“He walked around the corner to his friend’s house to get his bus card,” said George McCollum, the young man’s grandfather.

The father said his son was standing with a friend when he was shot.

Police would say only that a 20-year-old man was shot Saturday morning in the right leg in the 11400 block of South Yale Avenue but would not identify McCollum as the victim.

McCollum suffered a broken bone as a result of the shooting. He was treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and released. His father said the key now is to keep blood flowing to the leg so he doesn’t lose the limb.

McCollum Sr. said he lost a leg as a result of being shot in 2003 and he also was shot in the head in 2008.

In high school, his son was a ladies man who was homecoming king and prom king, the father said. McCollum Jr. graduated from Fenger. He’s been honing his basketball skills, hoping to play in college, McCollum Sr. said.

“If he still has his leg, God willing” McCollum Sr. said. “I’m just focusing right now on him better.”


Twitter: @schlikerman

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