Phillip Mitchell, 15-year-old fatally shot in Greater Grand Crossing, always wanted to make 'one more song'

Phillip Mitchell, a 15-year-old Gary Comer College Prep student, was an “introvert” known for his good humor and even better outfits, doing Double Dutch dance at his family’s church and rapping, his main passion, according to his mom. He was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon.

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Raquell Bussell (who did not want her face shown), mother of Phillip Mitchell, holds a photo of Mitchell when he was one year old as she poses for a photographer in her living room in the Garfield Park neighborhood, Thursday, June 12, 2024. Mitchell, 15, was shot and killed in the 7100 block of South King Drive in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood Wednesday afternoon when two people approached him, according to a police report. Bussell said her son loved to rap and was a member of a Double Dutch club. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Raquell Bussell, mother of Phillip Mitchell, holds a photo of her son when he was a year old in her living room in the Garfield Park neighborhood on Thursday. The 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in the 7100 block of South King Drive in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood Wednesday afternoon when two people approached him, according to a police report.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Phillip Mitchell, a 15-year-old Gary Comer College Prep student, always wanted to make “one more song.”

According to his mom, Racquel Bussell, Phillip fell in love with rap music four years ago and wanted to pursue it as a career, utilizing his school’s recording studio to learn more about making music. She said he was usually up late working on music in his bedroom, often pleading with her “just one more song” after she told him it was late on a school night.

Bussell said Phillip had just left work and was walking into Sunny’s Sub restaurant with his cousin and a friend on their way to grab dinner and some snacks when he was fatally shot.

A 16-year-old boy was questioned by police in connection with the shooting but was released without charges Thursday, Chicago police said. No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.

Two people, including the suspect, approached Phillip on the sidewalk and an argument erupted in the 7100 block of South King Drive about 5:40 p.m., according to a police report. The suspect allegedly pushed Phillip and a second person shot him at close range, hitting him at least once in the head.

Officers responding to a ShotSpotter alert found Phillip in the middle of the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his head and body. He was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m., police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

The 16-year-old boy was taken into custody a block north of the scene and police were still looking for the shooter.

Raquell Bussell (who did not want her face shown), mother of Phillip Mitchell, holds her son’s diploma in her home in the Garfield Park neighborhood, Thursday, June 12, 2024. Mitchell, 15, was shot and killed in the 7100 block of South King Drive in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood Wednesday afternoon when two people approached him, according to a police report. Bussell said her son loved to rap and was a member of a Double Dutch club.

Raquell Bussell holds her son’s diploma. Her son’s main passion was rapping, and he leaned into music even more after his grandmother passed away suddenly last year, prompting him to write his emotions into his songs, according to Bussell.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Bussell said her son was an “introvert” known for his good humor and even better outfits, doing Double Dutch dance at his family’s church, though his main passion had been rapping.

Phillip leaned into music even more after his grandmother, who he had been close with and helped raise him, passed away suddenly last year. He would write his emotions into his songs, according to Bussell.

“He put his all into it,” Bussell said, adding that he had been reaching out to local legendary Chicago rappers like G Herbo, trying to learn from them and “make a name for himself.”

Bussell’s family has seen a lot of loss in recent years: her sister was killed in a car accident in October 2020, her mom died suddenly in February 2022 and her dad died in March.

“And now my son,” Bussell said. “I can’t believe I’m going to have to have a service for my baby. … I needed him in my life and God gave him to me, but now he’s gone.”

Raquell Bussell, mother of Phillip Mitchell, shows an old book of letters for Mitchell from his friends and teachers in her living room in the Garfield Park neighborhood, Thursday, June 12, 2024. Mitchell, 15, was shot and killed in the 7100 block of South King Drive in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood Wednesday afternoon when two people approached him, according to a police report. Bussell said her son loved to rap and was a member of a Double Dutch club.

Raquell Bussell, mother of Phillip Mitchell, shows an old book of letters from her son’s friends and teachers.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Bussell said she wished parents “would be more of parents like they used to be.” She said too often parents weren’t paying attention to what their kids were doing or ignored it when the school would confront them with it, which in her mind leads to the youth violence the city sees.

“These kids [are] horrible, these kids [are] ruining families’ lives, it’s scary,” Bussell said. “I just wanna know why would they do that? What did my son do to deserve this? … Y’all came and disrupted his whole entire life.”

As for the city, she wants to see the criminal courts hold both the suspects responsible for the shooting.

“Justice will be served,” she said.

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