SOUTH DEERING — An openly gay 18-year-old high school student was shot Friday in what police described as a robbery attempt.
But Terrance Wright's loved ones don't buy that story; they believe it was a hate crime — and they want authorities to investigate the murder accordingly.
Wright, who loved rap and Nicki Minaj, faced constant harassment and taunts as a student at Banner Academy South High School, his family said.
“Everybody knew he was gay in the area,” his uncle Tywan Bouldin said. “They had been picking on him.”
Wright was walking home from school around 3:40 p.m. Friday when five men approached him in the 9900 block of South Yates Avenue and tried robbing him, police said.
Wright resisted and, after a scuffle, one of his would-be robbers shot him in the chest, police said.
He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Hospital at 4:46 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiners Office.
Police made no mention of Wright's sexual orientation, but said the investigation was ongoing. No one has been arrested yet.
Wright's family was mourning the loss of a young man they said didn’t deserve his fate.
He was in his second year at Banner after transferring there from a high school where, his family said, he also suffered bullying because he was gay.
Bouldin said his nephew stayed to himself and “didn’t bother anybody unless they bothered him.”
“He just took it,” Bouldin said. “That was his way of life. For him to go away so soon is crazy. He had a whole life to live in front of him."