16-year-old boy killed by gunman who waited for him outside Red Line station in downtown Chicago, police say

Vadarrion A. Knight was shot twice in the chest and once in the knee, police said. More gunfire erupted hours later inside the station.

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Vadarrion A. Knight


Standing flat against a pillar, the gunman waited as Vadarrion Knight stepped off a Red Line escalator and onto Grand Avenue in downtown Chicago early Monday.

The 16-year-old turned to see the gunman aiming at his head. More than half a dozen shots were fired and Knight collapsed as he tried to run back down the escalator, according to video and information from police sources.

The gunman was seen on the video running around the corner at State Street. Two other people then approached Knight, one kicking the teen while the other went through his pockets, a police source said.

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Knight was dead by the time paramedics arrived around 2 a.m. Police said he was shot twice in the chest and once in the knee.

The police source said the shooting appeared to be a “targeted attack,” and that 29 baggies of crack cocaine were found on Knight’s body as well as a “bundle” of cash.

No one was in custody.

Friends said Knight had lost his older brother to gun violence in 2018. Deshawn James was 17 when he was shot on Jan. 10 in the 13300 block of South Calumet Avenue.

“After losing his older brother, it was a tragic moment for him and his loving mother and he wanted to be strong for her,” said a friend, who asked not to be named. “It wasn’t so easy for him after losing his brother, he stayed so strong though, always kept a smile on his face no matter what.”

Another longtime friend said Knight was always willing to put others ahead of himself, especially older generations.

“He was respectful to his elders, always there when you needed help,” said the friend, who also asked not to be identified. “He was always helping the older people out as well, walking them across the street making sure they have enough bus fare to get in the bus carrying their groceries.”

The friend said she and Knight grew up in the same neighborhood. “He would give his last dollar to me if I needed it. He was a loving, respectful young person who’s life was taken away too soon.”

Monday’s shooting was the first murder reported on the Near North Side this year, according to police data.

Hours after the fatal shooting, gunfire rang out inside the station during the morning rush. A man was exiting the train platform at 9 a.m. when an argument turned physical, police said. Someone hit the man in the forehead with a firearm and fired two shots, but no one was struck by the bullets, police said.

The man, 30, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and stabilized, police said.

There have been four other shootings in the community area this year, one of them only a block away from Monday’s shooting. On Feb. 1, a man was shot in the 100 block of East Grand Avenue shortly before 1 a.m., police said.

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