Surprise trip home for college student turns tragic as son is killed in shooting; mistaken identity blamed

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CHICAGO, Ill. - A community in Chicago is mourning the loss of a teenager who was described as a good kid with a promising future.

Family members say they are stunned that 19-year-old Arshell Dennis III, the son of a Chicago police officer, was the latest victim of the violence in the city.

"I thought about his wife, she probably worried more about her husband, but to lose her son, it's unbelievable," one neighbor told WGN.

"Officer Dennis dedicated his life to make this city safer, and his son Arshell was a good kid, making his parents proud and studying for a promising future as a journalist," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement to Chicago Tribune. "As always, the men and women of the CPD will stop at nothing to find who was responsible and bring a sense of closure and justice to Officer Dennis and all families affected by violence. But in order to address the root of this violence, we must change the way the criminal justice system treats the reckless, repeat gun offenders who are causing this violence and send a clear message that when you are involved in gun crimes you will be held accountable."

Dennis, who was a journalism major at St. John's University in New York, came home on Thursday to surprise his mother for her birthday.

On Saturday night, Dennis went to a block party before coming home.

He was sitting on his front porch with a friend when shots rang out. One of those bullets hit Arshell in the chest.

In a tragic twist, Arshell's mother heard the shooting but could not come to his aid. Family members say she has been suffering from a debilitating illness and is still recovering.

Investigators believe it was a case of mistaken identity since Arshell did not have a criminal record or any ties to gangs.

So far, no one is in custody for the shooting.

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