Funeral held for Seandell Holliday, 16, killed in chaotic gathering at Millennium Park

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mourners on Chicago’s South Side wiped away tears Saturday at the funeral for the 16-year-old shot and killed in Millennium Park as city leaders search for ways to prevent more senseless gun violence. 

As people shuffled into the services, they said they went to remember a young man with big dreams whose life ended too soon. But they also went to share a message becuase they do not want to attend another teenager’s funeral. 

Seandell Holliday’s friends and family celebrated his life with not just memories but also melodies. It is fitting as Holliday was a drummer who hoped to one day launch his own record label.

“He just loved his siblings,” one funderal attendee said. 

“Seandell was determined to do anything he put his mind to,” said another.    

“He just wanted to be a kid, and I just, I’m sorry. Condolences to the family,” another said through tears. 

Holliday never got to fulfill those dreams. The 16-year-old was shot and killed during a chaotic gather at Millennium Park two weeks ago. 

“He was always a step ahead,” said Vondale Singleton, the head of a youth mentoring group called CHAMPS. Seandell was part of that group. 

“My whole thing is give these resources to boots on the ground organizations that are serious and sincere and consistent about doing the work,” Singleton said. 

The Millennium Park shooting prompted Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to introduce a 6 p.m. curfew at the park for unaccompanied minors. That curfew, along with security checkpoints, is still in place this Memorial Day weekend — a historically violent weekend. 

The Chicago Police Department said it is also increasing patrols around the city to try to prevent violence. 

Meanwhile, Holliday’s friends are urging kids across the city to join CHAMPS or other mentoring groups. 

“We got to get more kids in here, so this won’t happen again. Because maybe they dont feel safe. Maybe that’s why,” said Demetrius Walker Hill. “They carry a gun, they dont feel safe, and we need to make sure that everybody in Chicago feel safe.”

“Wake up. Stop playing. Get committed. Find your purpose. Get busy about it,” said Singleton. 

Singleton said he asks the kids he works with to write down a list of goals to reach by the time they’re 21. He said one of the things Seandell wrote down was that he didn’t want to die by 21 — because he was concerned about the gun violence in Chicago.

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