Kabiru Adewunmi (photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune)

Remembering Kabiru Adewunmi

“The Chicago Fire Soccer Club is saddened by the news of the tragic passing of Chicago Fire Juniors North player Kabiru Adewunmi Tuesday night. The thoughts of our entire organization are with his family, friends and our CFJ North affiliate at this time.”

Those who knew Kabiru Adewunmi could easily imagine the 16-year-old flashing his pearl-white smile as he and five friends from his native Nigeria walked to a convenience store after celebrating a playoff win Tuesday night by the Chicago Bulls.

The Amundsen High School sophomore had only been in Chicago for less than a year after winning a spot on a competitive youth soccer league run by the Chicago Fire. His coach said the intelligent, good-natured teen with the easy smile was already catching the eye of college recruiters.

But his dreams of superstardom came to an end that night when a gunman opened fire on Adewunmi, police said, killing him as his friends watched.

Investigators said they believe that the shooting, which occurred just before 9:30 p.m. in the 800 block of East 82nd Street, may have been gang-related. Adewunmi was not involved in gangs and had only recently moved to the neighborhood, those who knew him said.

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