A 22-year-old Chicago man who recently committed to play basketball at a Division I school died after he was shot trying to break up a fight over a necklace Thursday afternoon, according to family and authorities.
Michael Haynes was shot in the 11600 block of South Vincennes Avenue, a block from his home, and was dropped off at Metro South Medical Center, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said. He was shot about 5:10 p.m. in the wrist and back, Gaines said.
An autopsy Friday determined Haynes died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homcide, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Haynes, a 6-foot-7 inch forward was set to play basketball for the 2012-2013 school year in New Rochelle, N.Y., for the Iona College Gaels, according to a statement from the school.
Haynes played basketball at Washington High School his sophomore and junior years and led the school to consecutive appearances in the city championship game, according to Iona College. He didn’t play basketball his senior year at Fenger High School.
“The Iona family is devastated with the news on Michael’s passing,” said head coach Tim Cluess. “His passion, energy and excitement for his opportunity this year makes this tragedy even more upsetting. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Nicknamed “Big Mike”, Haynes was transferring to New Rochelle from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA, according to the school's statement.
Haynes had averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds last season for Indian Hills. His coach, Barret Peery, described Haynes as a strong, powerful athlete around the rim who ran the floor well and defended multiple positions.
"The Iona Community is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Michael Haynes,” said Iona College President, Dr. Joseph E. Nyre. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael and his family."
Haynes was set to head to Iona College on Tuesday, said his uncle, Marvin Kimbrough, 52, who fought tears Friday as he talked about his nephew.
"A friend of ours posted on Facebook 'Michael is going to be playing ball in the courts of heaven,'" he said.
His cousin, Kandice Blouin, 25, said Haynes had dreamed of being a NBA player, but couldn't reach that goal if he played for a community college.
She said he first attended a college in Texas, but didn't get enough playing time on the basketball team so he returned to Chicago.
He later went to Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, but decided to attend Iona, a Division 1 school that he thought would help him make it as a professional player, she said.
Blouin said Haynes was like a brother to her since the two grew up together in their grandmother's home on the 11700 block of South Vincennes.
Haynes was a big Miami Heat fan and had dreams of playing in the NBA.
"He kind of looked like LeBron, too," she said.
Blouin said she is not sure what happened, but knows Haynes left his home Thursday to take a break from washing his clothes. His grandmother yelled at him to return, but he wanted to see what was going on in the neighborhood, she said.
When Haynes stumbled upon a fight between his friend and another person a block away, he tried to break it up, she said. She believes the two were arguing over a necklace.
The other person, for some reason, pulled out a gun and shot, striking Haynes.
Haynes' friend, Aliczay Christian, 16, was taking a nap when the shots rang out, but ran outside to see what had happened.
She said she saw Haynes grabbing onto a fence before he fell to the ground.
People told Haynes not to move or panic and he responded, 'I"m good, I'm good,'" Christian said.