‘Chicagoland’ Star, Fenger Prom King Murdered
A man featured in CNN’s controversial Chicagoland documentary was gunned down on the city’s South Side early Thursday.
Lee McCollum Jr. detailed his struggle to escape violence as part of the multi-episode documentary in 2014.
McCollum attended Fenger High School. He spoke candidly of his evolution during that time period, where he started with gang affiliations but graduated as an honors student, athlete and prom king despite his family being homeless during his senior year.
“My two worries in life are not making it and not being successful and ending up on the streets being a bum,” he said in August 2014. “And the second is I want to be a father that can provide for his family.”
Unfortunately, McCollum’s aspirations were cut short.
Police found the 22-year-old on the 500 block of West 126th Street. He was shot in the head. Officials have yet to formally identify him.
This wasn’t the first time McCollum was shot. In 2014, he was left wounded while walking to get a bus pass.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m only born to lose,” he said. “Every time you try to skip out and do something good…The more you try to do right, the more wrong come up to you. It’s hard to manage around that.”
Former Fenger Principal Liz Dozier fondly remembers McCollum as being “more than a number.”
“He was a son, a nephew, a father, a friend,” she said in an emailed statement to JET. “On Chicagoland, Lee put a face to the dichotomy of our city. In his death, he’s done that once again. I’m devastated that we’ve lost him, and I’m saddened for our city. The constant deaths of our young men cannot be the new normal.”
Our condolences go out to Mr. McCollum’s family.
Stop the violence.