Man charged in Columbia College student Kevin Ambrose murder

May 11, 2013 4:28:46 AM PDT
A South Side man has been charged in the murder of a Columbia College student who was meeting a friend in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Jerome Brown, 26, of the 7400-block of S. Emerald, is charged with first-degree murder and is in jail without bond.

Columbia College is still mourning the loss of Kevin Ambrose, 19, killed Tuesday in a drive-by shooting. Ambrose was an artist and poet, according to his friends.

Ambrose had just finished his first year of college. He was an actor studying theater at Columbia. Friends say he had a creative soul and ambitious heart.

"He didn't have any doubt that he wasn't going to make it at all. He knew that he was going to be successful. Knew it," Justin Harris, victim's friend, said.

Ambrose was shot in the back Tuesday around 11 p.m. while walking to the CTA Green Line stop near 47th and South Prairie. He was on his way to meet a friend, Michael Dye, who was getting off the train, because he didn't think it was safe for Dye to walk alone at night.

"I step on the platform, and I see him running. I didn't know it was him at first, but he's running. And next thing you know, I hear three or four shots," Dye said.

Police say the bullets were fired from a light-colored sedan just south of the train stop. Ambrose tried to escape the shots by sprinting through an empty lot. He ended up just below the tracks.

"He called out to me to tell me to call somebody. I was the last person he saw, and the last person he could talk to," Dye said.

Ambrose died at Stroger Hospital. His grieving mother said her son had no enemies.

"I always said, 'You know, watch yourself,' every time he walked out of the door because it's Chicago," Ebony Ambrose said. "There's no possible way that the person who did this actually knew my son."

Ambrose did his best to avoid the perils of urban life. He was active in after-school programs, including one with the Joffrey Ballet.

"Ninety-eight percent of me knows it wasn't my fault. But that 2 percent is strong, and it's in my head telling me you should've walked by yourself," Dye said.

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