Former high school prom king found murdered in Chicago

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Lee McCullum III., 22, who appeared on the CNN documentary “Chicagoland” and spoke about his struggles to escape violence in Chicago, was shot dead on Thursday.

He was discovered by police at 12:37 a.m. after having been shot in the head.

McCullum was a memorable character on CNN’s “Chicagoland” documentary, who opened up about his previous gang affiliations and attempts to turn his life around.  Despite the fact that his family was homeless during his senior year, McCullum made the honor roll and won the title of prom king at Fenger High School.

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“My two worries in life are not making it and not being successful and ending up on the streets being a bum,” he said in August 2014. “And the second is I want to be a father that can provide for his family.”

McCullum was the father of a six-month-old daughter.

The 22-year-old had been shot before, in 2014. While on his way to work at a fast food restaurant, where he was earning money for school and saving up for a move, two men got out of a car and started to shoot at him.

However, this time, he was not so lucky.  McCullum’s friends and family are mourning his passing after he had done so much to escape the violence that ultimately took his life.

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Liz Dozier, former principal at Fenger High School who was also a close mentor, told CNN, “He was such a great person.  He was funny.  He was talented.  He had hopes and dreams just like thousands of kids across our city.   I can’t believe that I’ll be attending his funeral.”

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a call to McCullum’s father, “Big Lee” McCullum Sr. to express his condolences.  “Man, I’m not supposed to be burying my child,” the elder McCullum told the Chicago Tribune. “My child is supposed to bury me. I had to go identify his body this morning and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life,” he said.

Before Lee McCullum’s death, he was also in mourning.  His girlfriend, Tiara Parks, 23, daughter of a Cook County sheriff’s deputy, had been shot and killed in Chicago just last month.

After being shot in 2014, McCullum was quoted as saying, “Sometimes I feel like I’m only born to lose. Every time you try to skip out and do something good,” he said after that shooting. “The more you try to do right, the more wrong come up on you. It’s hard to manage around that.”

No one is in custody yet for his murder.