Chicago Police

Activist Asks Public's Help In Solving Crossfire Murder Of Doctoral Student

September 04, 2018 - 9:42 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Northwestern University doctoral student shot to death in crossfire Sunday in Rogers Park was a cancer survivor who had arrived in Chicago to begin his studies only three hours earlier.

Shane Colombo and fiance Vincent Perez had closed on their condo Aug. 21. Perez said Colombo told him on Skype soon after arriving Sunday afternoon from his family's California home that he wanted to buy some hangars. Perez said he begged Colombo not to go, and to rest instead.

Despite that, Perez told reporters Tuesday, Colombo left about 15 minutes later.

On that errand, before he was hit by a stray bullet, he shot photos that he sent to his mother Tonya, who says she was reconsidering her misgivings about Chicago when she learned of the shooting.

She admits saying she hated Chicago when she arrived but adds Chicagoans she has encountered ever since have been "amazing."

Vincent Perez speaks to reporters about the murder of his partner, Shane Colombo. (WBBM Newsradio/Bob Roberts)

She no longer hates Chicago, just certain "elements,” she said.

Tonya Colombo said her son was diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 15 but it had been in remission for several years. Her son finished high school, put himself through college and had been awarded a full-ride scholarship to Northwestern, where his studies were to begin later this month.

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said in a statement that Colombo's death was a "terrible loss for our community."

Area North Chicago police detectives are investigating. Anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes accompanied family members and asked anyone who has a security video camera in the area surrounding the scene of the shooting -- on the 7600 block of North Clark Street -- to turn over the video to police, the media or both.

Later Tuesday, Chicago police released a series of surveillance images of people they want to interview in the case: 

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