AUBURN GRESHAM — When 21-year-old Adarius Hayes learned he was going to be a father this spring, it changed him for the better, his girlfriend of almost two years said.
Kenisha Abraham is due to have his child in October, she said. When Hayes found out she was pregnant, he began looking for a job and started talking about going back to school.
But Hayes, of the 8100 block of South Damen Avenue in Auburn Gresham, will never meet his unborn daughter. He was shot to death blocks from his home Wednesday morning.
Around 6 a.m. Wednesday, police found Hayes unconscious in the driver's seat of a car in the 7500 block of South Damen Avenue with a gunshot wound in his chest. He was taken to Christ Memorial Hospital, where doctors later pronounced him dead.
In the past year, Abraham said, Hayes spent a few months in jail after violating house arrest. He'd been charged with illegal possession of a handgun. But he was released in May and had begun to turn his life around.
"He really started to change, saying he was getting rid of the guns, getting out of all that," Abraham said, sitting in the living room of her Englewood home. "He was so excited — he kept saying he really wanted a girl."
Last week, Abraham said, she found out she'll be having a daughter. She was planning to surprise Hayes with the news at her baby shower next month.
Her plans were dashed Wednesday morning, when a Cook County sherriff knocked on her door asking her to identify the man they found dead down the street.
"Once I realized it was him, my heart just dropped," Abraham said, tears running down her face. "I can't stop thinking about what the rest of these days are gonna be like without him. Can't stop thinking about how my girl won't ever get to see her father."
Abraham's father, Arthur Drake, put a hand on her shoulder.
"It goes to show you, bad guys really can learn to be good. Maturity comes from growth," Drake said. "He was really getting it together, he was looking for that second chance. He just never got to take it."
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