By Meredith Rodriguez
7:34 AM CST, February 10, 2014
A 17-year-old high school student who was earning money shoveling snow was shot to death on a sidewalk near his home on the Near West Side, according to police and his family.
Ronald Hayes was shot in the head in the 1300 block of West Hastings Street around 4:15 p.m. Sunday, according to Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O'Brien.
Officers found him outside an apartment complex just a few blocks from where he grew up and lived with his mother on West Washburne Avenue.
“He was a good kid,” his mother Kathy Booker said in an interview after she returned home from seeing her son's body at the scene of the shooting. The Banner Academy West High School student “was very cheerful, joyful, playful. He loved to play with his brothers.”
Booker, 38, said her son -- the fourth of nine children -- was outside working, shoveling snow and putting down salt when he was shot. Hayes was scheduled to graduate from Banner Academy West High School at the beginning of June, she said, and he was going to take her to the prom.
“He loved his mom to death,” Booker said. “I think it was sweet of him to want to take me.”
Hayes aspired to go to college and become a police officer, Booker said. He loved math, music, basketball and Chief Keef and was known as “Duck,” according to friends and family.
“I named him that,” Booker said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. They kill my baby (who was) only 17-years-old.
“All he do is go to school and play ball,” Booker said. “They shoot my baby for no reason.”
Booker, the boy's grandfather and several other family members went to the scene of the shooting and spoke to police across the street from where his body lay under a white sheet.
Neighbors stood back as police inspect the scene around Hayes’ body, lamenting how young the victim was.
After several hours, Hayes’ body was lifted onto a gurney after dark, and some of his family followed him to the Cook County morgue, his mother said.
In a separate attack Sunday afternoon, three people suffered minor injuries in a shooting in the Ashburn neighborhood.
The shooting took place about 3:30 p.m. in the 3400 block of West Columbus Avenue--also known as Southwest Highway--O'Brien said.
A man, 22, shot in the hand, a woman, 24, and a man, 23, both shot in the arm, were all at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in good condition, O'Brien said.
Check back for updates.
Tribune reporter Liam Ford contributed
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