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Amundsen Raises $2K for Funeral of Markeyo Carr, McDonald's Shooting Victim

By Patty Wetli | February 13, 2014 7:35am
 Anna Pavichevich, Amundsen High School principal
Anna Pavichevich, Amundsen High School principal
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DNAinfo/Patty Wetli (File)

LINCOLN SQUARE — Principal Anna Pavichevich remembers the last time she saw Amundsen High School student Markeyo Carr, who was killed last week outside a Rogers Park McDonald's.

"I had observed him in class three days before he was murdered," she said. "He was enthusiastically answering questions, his hand was always up."

As the bell rang and students headed for the hallway, Pavichevich stopped Carr for a quick word.

"I said, 'Markeyo you were on fire today,'" she recalled. "He said, 'I can't stop giggling 'cause you're here.' It was so cute."

As Carr left the classroom, student and principal touched hands.

"Markeyo walked out of the room with a smile on his face. He was so happy," Pavichevich said. "This is how we choose to remember him."

 Friends, family and supporters attended a vigil for Markeyo Carr, who was gunned down last week in Rogers Park.
Friends, family and supporters attended a vigil for Markeyo Carr, who was gunned down last week in Rogers Park.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

To honor the 17-year-old, universally known for his sense of humor and smile, the Amundsen community pulled together to raise $2,000 for Carr's family, to be used toward funeral expenses.

Safety director Alex Perez, "with his big heart," collected "a dollar at a time" from students, faculty and staff, said Pavichevich.

"He didn't even have to ask. People looked for Alex and his jar," she said. "We're committed to giving this young man a final resting place he deserves."

Rosehill Cemetery, where Carr will be buried on Friday, lowered its fees out of consideration for the boy's family.

"I did it as a mother to a mother," said Rosehill manager Diane Comer. "It's a 17-year-old. I felt bad for the family."

Pavichevich expressed her gratitude to the cemetery: "Rosehill showed a lot of humanity and compassion. They stepped up as part of the community to support the family."

In the days since the shooting at the McDonald's at 6730 N. Clark St., such acts of kindness have been tempered by what Pavichevich termed attempts to "denigrate" Carr's "value as a human being" — from blog posts asserting the 17-year-old had gang ties to Internet commenters claiming the family was exaggerating Carr's involvement in school activities.

"He was not what they're describing him to be," Pavichevich said of the online chatter, while confirming for the record that Carr "absolutely participated" on the school's swim team.

Addressing the gang issues, the principal said: "There were zero — and when I say zero, I mean zero — instances of any gang-related behavior. We never, in our school, had any reason to worry about him exhibiting any gang affiliation."

The day after the murder, students from all ethnicities and cliques turned out to mourn Carr, proof, Pavichevich said, that Markeyo wasn't associated with any particular group.

"They were black, they were Latino, they were Arabic, they were Pakistani, Indian. It was a cross-cultural expression of grief," she said.

Following Carr's shooting, the school held the "beginning of many, many conversations about grief and how to honor a friends," said Pavichevich, who added that she would like for those discussions to eventually lead to efforts to reduce and eliminate violence.

Of Carr, whose smile is still fresh in her memory, the principal could only say of his death: "It's not fair."

No arrests have been made in the shooting that left Carr dead with a gunshot wound in his head and three other teens — two 18-year-old men and a 15-year-old girl — injured.

But a police source said one of the surviving victims was an Uptown rapper known for provocative music videos that promoted violence. He might have been the masked gunman's target, the source said.