Charter School student killed

The student was shot by his younger brother, but the Chicago Police Department ruled his death an accident.

By Asher Klein

A 14-year-old student at the University of Chicago Charter School’s Woodlawn Campus (UCW) was shot and killed Tuesday in what police have ruled an accident.

Jalil Muhammad, a freshman at UCW, was shot by a sibling who accidentally discharged a firearm on the 200 block of West 93rd Street at around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, a Chicago Police Department (CPD) spokesperson said. A University spokesman said he died at Comer Children’s Hospital after being transported from his home.

Muhammad’s aunt, Dorothy Cummings, said Jalil was shot by his 9-year-old brother, who won’t be charged with a crime.

The boys’ father was charged with a misdemeanor for failure to register a firearm, and with a city ordinance violation for not having a firearms registration card, according to the CPD spokesperson.

Cummings said the father, Lyle Muhammad, was a security guard for Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. “They were in church about every other day,” she said.

Spokespeople for the Nation of Islam were unavailable to comment by press time.

Jalil's brother had found his father’s gun and was showing it to Jalil when it went off, Cummings said.

She said the family was distraught. “It’s awful,” she said. Of his brother, Cummings said: “I don’t think his brother’s old enough to understand what’s going on.”

University of Chicago spokesperson Steve Kloehn said in an e-mail that the UCW would provide counsleing for any students who need support after the death of their classmate.

“Woodlawn Campus Director Shayne Evans, together with faculty and staff, counselors from across the Urban Education Institute, Chicago Public Schools, and community-based mental health teams, has been meeting with UCW students and staff since notification of this tragedy,” Kloehn said.

“[The Urban Education Institute] and UCW are committed to ensuring that all the necessary support and care is available to the entire school community, in the immediate and long-term,” he said.

Located on 6420 South University Avenue, UCW is a public preparatory school directed by senior administrators at the University of Chicago. It is one of four University of Chicago charter school campuses.