Student Dies After Struck by Stray Bullet While Heading Home From Chicago Internship

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
July 7, 2021US News
Student Dies After Struck by Stray Bullet While Heading Home From Chicago Internship
University of Chicago student Max Lewis, 20. (Courtesy of Zachary Cogan via GoFundMe)

A University of Chicago student died after he was struck by a stray bullet while commuting on a train on the city’s Green Line last week, according to reports.

Max Lewis, a 20-year-old third-year student, was on his way home on July 1 from his summer internship in the Illinois city when he was hit in the neck by a stray bullet.

He was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center at about 6 p.m., where he was then placed on life-support.

Relatives of Lewis said medical officials removed him from life support on the morning of July 4 after the victim learned the bullet caused catastrophic damage and he would likely need a ventilator for the rest of his life, WGN9 reported.

Lewis reportedly managed to communicate with doctors and his family the intention of not wanting to carry on with his life paralyzed on a ventilator after spelling out a message on a letter board.

“If I have to live like this, pull the plug please. Seriously,” he spelled out, his family said.

Investigators said it is unlikely that Lewis was an intended target, noting that it is currently unclear where the gunfire came from. No arrests have been made yet.

Lewis was pursuing a double-major in computer science and economics in Chicago, according to his GoFundMe. He also is the former president of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), a college fraternity founded at New York University in 1913.

Organizers of the page described him as an intelligent, caring, and compassionate member of the university who loved to go outside for runs, or walks with friends.

Lewis grew up in Denver, Colorado, and graduated with honors in computer science before moving to pursue his double-major in Chicago. He is survived by his mother, father, and younger brother.

The tragedy that cut the life of Lewis short happened amid yet another violent July 4 weekend in Chicago, when more than 100 people were wounded, including 19 fatally.

So far in 2021, there have been more than 1,892 shootings in Chicago, the Sun-Times reported. That represents a 12 percent year-over-year increase. About 330 homicides have been reported in the first six months of 2021, the paper noted.

Police figures also show a 22 percent rise in criminal sexual assaults and a 9 percent rise in motor vehicle thefts in Chicago so far this year compared to the same period last year, while the number of burglaries has fallen by 39 percent and the number of incidents of aggravated battery has dropped by 7 percent.

Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.