Shane Colombo

PhD student who beat cancer gets shot and killed within hours of arriving to city to start school

A doctoral student at Northwestern University was one of six people who lost their lives in Chicago on Sunday, when a stray bullet struck him as he unintentionally walked upon a gunfight.

ABC reports Shane Colombo, 25, who arrived in Chicago on Sunday to finish his studies, got struck by a bullet and killed at around 8:25 p.m. while out buying clothes hangers close to the Rogers Park neighborhood. Shane’s mother, Tonya Colombo, of Menifee, California, had the difficult task of identifying her son at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Chicago on Tuesday.

“He was a bright, beautiful, amazing son. And he was so loving,” she told ABC. “I was very concerned about him coming out here, and he was killed within four hours of being in the city, four hours of stepping off that plane.”

After spending a few years in NYC as a researcher, Shane left for Chicago, where he moved in with his fiancé and prepared to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Prior to New York, Shane lived in California, where he earned his bachelors degree at San Francisco State University in 2016.

“He was so passionate about what he was doing,” Shane’s mother continued. “He was going to be a doctor. He wanted to do clinical research. He wanted to give people answers.”

Shane developed cancer at age 15, but according to Tonya, he battled through it and beat it. Although his medical issues put him a year behind in school, he plugged away until he graduated. Tonya said her son then put himself through college and received a full scholarship to Northwestern.

“He pushed himself through college on his own. And came to Chicago to get his Ph.D. He got a full scholarship to Northwestern. He didn’t depend on me to go to school. He depended on himself.”

No suspects are yet in custody in connection with the shooting. The other victims, which included two women, ranged in age from 18 to 41.

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional information becomes available.

[Feature Photo: Shane Colombo/Twitter]