A University of Chicago student was killed in a freak tragedy when a stray bullet ripped through his subway-car window during the commute home from his summer internship, police and loved ones say.
Max Solomon Lewis, a 20-year-old junior from Denver, Colo., succumbed Sunday morning to injuries he suffered from the slug that pierced a window of the train at the 51st Street Green Line station, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“It’s a senseless tragedy for so many reasons,” classmate Zach Cogan told the outlet.
Lewis, who was pursuing a double major in economics and computer science, had snagged a competitive internship at an investment firm in downtown Chicago for the summer.
Though he had the option to work from home, Lewis preferred to head into the office because he “loved getting to know as many people as he could,” Cogan said.
The victim had been on his way home from work during rush hour Thursday when the bullet struck his neck, police said.
“I was told Max was shot and he was shot in the neck. And it was really bad,” Cogan told the Denver Channel.
Lewis was taken to a nearby hospital, where his family and friends rushed to his side, the outlets reported.
“He was incredibly special, and he was brave to the very end,” Cogan told the news station.
No suspects or a motive have been identified in the shooting, but police don’t believe that Lewis was the intended target.
He is survived by his parents and a younger brother.
Friends remembered Lewis as a fixture on campus through his role as leader of Promontory Investment Research, a group that helps undergrad students produce and write research reports, as well as president of his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi.
“He was so incredibly caring, loyal and genuine,” Cogan told the newspaper. “He loved working hard for other people because he was so damn selfless. And he never wanted people to thank him for what he did.”
He had already been looking forward to another big internship that he scored for next summer, pals said.
“My latest conversations with him were so optimistic,” friend Victoria Gin told the Sun-Times.
The University of Chicago confirmed Lewis’s death and remembered him as a “talented” student.
“The University is devastated by Max’s loss. During this sorrowful time, our deepest sympathies are with Max’s family, friends, and all who knew him,” the statement read. “Max was a talented student and beloved campus leader and friend who will be greatly missed.”
At least 100 people were shot over the July Fourth weekend in Chicago — including 18 people who died, ABC7 Chicago reported.
The number is up from the same weekend last year that saw 87 people shot, the outlet reported.
Lewis’s fraternity has launched a GoFundMe page which will donate part of the funds to benefit anti-gun violence efforts.
“Chicago has so much gun violence, like every city. It’s so senseless,” Cogan told the Denver Channel. “I can’t lose another friend to gun violence. I just can’t. It’s too much.”
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