HomeChinese AmericanInternational Chinese student gunned down at Chicago’s Hyde Park

International Chinese student gunned down at Chicago’s Hyde Park

Picture: emailed to Randall

A gunman shot and killed Shaoxiong “Dennis” Zheng, a recent University of Chicago graduate, Tuesday in Hyde Park. Zheng was only 24, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Two witnesses said they saw a man in a mask and a black hooded sweatshirt get out of a black sports car in the 900 block of East 54th Place around 2 p.m. Tuesday, a police report said. Zheng was walking on the sidewalk when the masked man approached him. The witnesses said there was a brief struggle before the gunman shot him in the chest, ran back to his car and drove away.

The homicide follows a trend of rising violence in the Chicago area. There have been at least 698 homicides this year compared to 680 this time last year, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. At this point in 2019, the city had seen just 442 homicides.

At least 3,909 people have been shot this year, an increase of almost 9% compared to the same point in 2020 and 69% compared to 2019. In Hyde Park, there were no murders by this time last year but there have been five this year, according to police statistics.

Zheng, who graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 2019 and earned his master’s degree in statistics from the University of Chicago last summer, was the third University of Chicago student killed this year, WBBM-TV reported.

Yiran Fan, a promising 30-year-old graduate student, died during a random shooting spree in January. He was posthumously awarded a Ph.D. in financial economics in June.

Max Lewis, a 20-year-old student who was hit by a stray bullet while sitting on a Green Line train in July, died three days later, officials said. Lewis double majored in economics and computer science and was president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.

A candlelight vigil was held for Zheng on the 1000 block of East 54th street Wednesday evening. Mei Wang, director of the statistics master’s program, said, “Zheng was motivated, independent, and intellectually curious. He aspired to be a data scientist who could solve important problems facing our society, and who could help people to help more people.”

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