OPRF senior killed in Austin

Shooting occurred the day before Elijah Sims' 17th birthday

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

An Oak Park and River Forest High School senior was shot on Monday night in Austin, Chicago police have reported.

Elijah Sims, 16, was standing on the corner of Quincy Street and Lotus Avenue with a 15-year-old friend between 10 and 10:30 p.m. when an unidentified person came up to the boys and started shooting, according to police.

The boys were rushed to Stroger Hospital, where Sims was pronounced dead Tuesday morning. On Wednesday, according to various news reports, he would have been 17 years old.

The younger victim reportedly is in stable condition. Chicago police investigators said that the victims weren't affiliated with any gangs and no one has been taken into custody.

Sims had worked at Pete's Fresh Market in Oak Park for three months, according to the store's manager.

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

24 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Julie Blankemeier from Oak Park  

Posted: August 31st, 2016 11:44 PM

Susan, may not be exactly what you are looking for but I saw this on OPRF Facebook, I believe it is a new organization created by Anthony Clark to help us unite in supporting each other and addressing community challenges: http://www.suburbanunity.org Others, I am sure, know more about it, but its website looks like just what our community needs!

Tamela Odom  

Posted: August 31st, 2016 11:41 PM

Elijah was a nice kid. Every time I saw him at Pete's he was always busy doing something. Seemed to have a solid work ethic. Very friendly. I would always look for him at check out to say hello. He will be sorely missed.

Susan Schroering from oak park  

Posted: August 31st, 2016 6:15 PM

Such a senseless sorrowful tragedy. What more will it take before we all start taking a active role in supporting sensible gun control laws. How much closer does it have to come to home? Will we wait until this happens at OPRFHS or one of our other local schools? If there is an Oak Park group already organized around this effort, I would appreciate knowing about it. Praying is not the only action we should take.

Susan Lucci from River Forest  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 8:53 PM


Bill Strong from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 7:01 PM

Oak Park kids, Chicago kids, they are all our kids. And we must do so much more to love and protect them. We will get guns off the streets, and in the end we will prevail. But so much pain to endure between now and then. We all hurt, and we support the Sims family.

Monica Sheehan  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 6:09 PM

I am deeply saddened by this tragedy. Elijah, his family and his friend are in my thoughts and prayers.

Stacey Moncrieff from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 6:07 PM

So saddened by senseless gun violence. I knew Elijah from Pete's Fresh Market. What a nice young man! He always had a smile on his face and willingness to lend a hand.

Lisa Dodge from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 3:10 PM

I hope his family finds peace. These murders have to stop.

Elizabeth Wilson Yu from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 2:04 PM

God rest his young and vital soul and bring comfort to his family and friends and fellow students. Prayers with everyone??

Wayne Franklin from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 1:21 PM

My thoughts are with his family and friends at this horrible time. Peace be with you all.

Troy DeForrest  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 1:17 PM

Very sorry to hear this. My heart and prayers to his family.

Miriam Solon from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 1:17 PM

There's no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We need to work on this "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" thing for everybody here, especially for those who haven't been able to realize it because of racial, class and ethnic discrimination. #BlackLivesMatter

Michelle Jensen  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 1:12 PM

So tragic. Gun violence has to stop. More guns is not the answer. but I don't know what is. May his family know that the community cares.

Ada Johnson Tikkanen  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 12:16 PM

There aren't enough prayers. My heart goes out to his family.

RoseMary Gange from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 12:00 PM

Dear God, make this madness stop! I am in tears for this family.

Jim Bowman  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 11:43 AM

"An Oak Park and River Forest High School senior was shot . . . "? You mean murdered.

Bridgett Baron  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 11:43 AM

I am heartbroken. In support of Elijah's family and friends, tomorrow, Wednesday, there will be a candlelight vigil in Scoville Park at 7 pm.

Lynn Kamenitsa  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 11:35 AM

Oh, this is so sad. I know his face from Pete's where he did me a nice favor one day - went above and beyond his job to be helpful. My heart goes out to his family.

Betsy Hennig Davis  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 11:30 AM

So terribly sorry about this. But staying away is not the answer.

Suzanne Vestuto from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 11:00 AM

My thoughts & prayers go out to his family! He was celebrating his birthday!

Cathy Craddock  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 10:59 AM

My condolences to out to his family - such a tragedy

Elizabeth Titus Rexford from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 10:56 AM

My heart is broken. He was only 16 at the time of his death. He worked at Pete's; I might have seen him there. Sad beyond belief. Oak Park kids: don't go over there!!

Elizabeth Titus Rexford from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 10:54 AM

Jennifer Malloy Quinlan  

Posted: August 30th, 2016 10:46 AM

I wish his family peace. I am so very sorry.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad

Latest Comments