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Police: Hoops standout Jonathan Mills fatally shot in Lawndale

Chicago Police officers investigate a shooting that killed basketball player Jonathan Mills outside the Lavanderia Soap Opera Laundromat in the 4100 block of West Roosevelt Road on Monday. Mills played at North Lawndale College Prep and Southern Miss University, then for the London Lighting in the National Basketball League of Canada. | Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Jonathan Mills, a standout basketball player at North Lawndale and Southern Miss, was shot and killed on the West Side on Monday.

The 26-year-old was outside a store in the 4100 block of West Roosevelt Road at 1:27 p.m. when someone approached and opened fire, according to Chicago Police. Mills suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

North Lawndale coach Lewis Thorpe was at the scene. “It’s him,” Thorpe said. “I’m looking at the body right now.”

Mills, the father of two daughters, played with Southern Miss in the NCAA Tournament in 2012. After college, he played basketball overseas.

Jonathan Mills | Sun-Times file photo
Jonathan Mills | Sun-Times file photo

“He was like a son to me,” North Lawndale assistant coach Terry Johnson said. “It’s unbelievable. Everyone is just at a loss for words, such a great, great guy.

“Thorpe and I raised him like he was our son. He would call all the time and keep in touch. Everyone is just shocked. It’s a sad day for Chicago. He was doing well, playing basketball, trying to get back overseas and play.”

Mills was planning on working out at North Lawndale all week.

“He had just called us to make sure he could get into the gym this week,” North Lawndale assistant coach Terrence Redmond said. “He had

been rehabbing from an ankle injury the past year. He’s the kind of guy that plays basketball literally every day. He wanted to get back overseas and play, almost everything he does is for his daughters.”

Mills, a 2009 North Lawndale graduate, kept tight ties with the school. He helped lead the Phoenix to the 2008 Class 2A state championship and the 2009 city title.

“Jon spoke to our teams so many times about what it takes and how to grow up in this type of atmosphere,” Redmond said. “It’s tough. He loved this city and he represented Chicago throughout the United States.”

The shooting occurred on the same block where Ald. Michael Scott (24th) has an office. A spokeswoman said she heard sirens and could see crime scene tape outside, but did not have further details

She said the alderman was not in the office at the time of the shooting.

Chicago Police walk outside the Lavanderia Soap Opera Laundromat and Keeler Food & Deli during an investigation of a shooting that killed former basketball player Jonathan Mills in the 4100 Block of West Roosevelt Road on Monday.  | Joshua Lott/Getty
Chicago Police walk outside the Lavanderia Soap Opera Laundromat and Keeler Food & Deli during an investigation of a shooting that killed former basketball player Jonathan Mills in the 4100 Block of West Roosevelt Road on Monday. | Joshua Lott/Getty Images