A 20-year-old Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of former Chicago prep star and Iona signee Michael Haynes, an attorney’s office spokeswoman announced Wednesday.
Haynes, 22, was shot and killed last week trying to break up a fight over a stolen necklace, his cousin said.
According to a report, a group of men were shoving each other when Haynes shoved Cinque Lee, the man charged in his death, who allegedly pulled out a gun and shot him.
His death came just days before he was scheduled to leave Chicago and head to Iona to enroll in summer classes and begin working out with the Gaels. He spent last season at Indian Hills Community College where he averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
“The Iona family is devastated with the news on Michael’s passing,” said head coach Tim Cluess in a statement. “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.”
Gun violence in Chicago has spiked by 38 percent since last year, according to the Associated Press, and Wednesday more than 200 public school children marched in the city to draw awareness to the issue.
“He wanted to get out of Chicago as soon as possible,” Iona assistant Jared Grasso told the New York Times. “It’s a sad thing. He was such a good kid. He just wanted an opportunity.”
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_