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Teen Shot Dead Had Met With Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Just 2 Months Ago

By Kelly Bauer | August 29, 2017 1:01pm
 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (left to right) stands with 16-year-old Theotis Luckett and Commissioner Richard Boykin
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (left to right) stands with 16-year-old Theotis Luckett and Commissioner Richard Boykin
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Facebook/Richard Boykin

CHICAGO — A 16-year-old slain this weekend met with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just two months before being gunned down.

The teen, Theotis Luckett, spoke with Zuckerberg when the CEO visited Chicago in June. Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, who was Zuckerberg's guide during that visit, said Luckett had struggled in his past but had found success with a program that keeps young people off the streets.

Luckett had recently finished a program at Lincoln's Challenge Academy and become a father when he was selected to meet Zuckerberg, Boykin said.

"He was trying to do something with his life and trying to be somebody," Boykin said. He was a "delightful young man, [a] gentleman who seemingly had turned his life around. When we met him in Englewood, he was full of life. He was happy. He couldn't have been better."

Luckett, Zuckerberg and Boykin met in Englewood, where Luckett talked to Zuckerberg and took a photo with him. Boykin shared that photo on Facebook after Luckett was slain Saturday morning.

"This is incredibly tragic," Zuckerberg wrote in response. "Thinking of Theotis' family and friends, and everyone working to keep things like this from happening in Chicago and across the country.

"We have to do better."

Luckett was killed Saturday while walking home from visiting his child, who is only a few months old, Boykin said.

At 3:48 a.m., Luckett was in the 3600 block of West Ohio Street when he was shot in his back, officials said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.

Luckett, of the 600 block of North Monticello, was pronounced dead at 5:25 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. An autopsy showed he died from a gunshot wound in his back in a homicide.

"It really underscores, I believe, the real seriousness of the state of emergency that we have in the city of Chicago as it relates to gun violence," Boykin said. "And, quite frankly, when you have so many young people being killed, it's tragic. This kid was 16 years old.

"We need to change the way we're doing things in Chicago to make sure that these communities are safe, especially to make sure that these young people are safe."

No one was in custody.