A model and a teenage boy were shot on a Chicago street corner yesterday evening at approximately 6:20 pm. The model, 20-year-old Kaylyn Pryor, had recently become known as a local celebrity after winning the famous “Mario, Make Me a Model” 2015 contest hosted by Mario Tricoci just over a month before.
Pryor was shot in the armpit and was pronounced dead when she arrived at the Advocate Christ Medical Center; the 15-year-old boy, a teenager she casually knew from the neighborhood, was shot in the groin and is now in critical condition.
Pryor’s shooting death, which took place in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, was particularly devastating because a nine-year-old boy had been shot to death in a separate incident in the same area only hours before.
Police don’t believe that Pryor was an intended target in the shooting, but they do suspect that the event may have been gang related.
The beauty contest winner was simply walking to the bus stop to travel back home to Evanston from her grandparent’s house at the time of the shooting. Pryor was a novice to the modeling world; she had been studying at Robert Morris University and was an aspiring paralegal. Her father described her as ambitious, bubbly, energetic; in her contest profile, it said that Pryor enjoyed dancing, choreography, poetry and drawing. Pryor never studied modeling but decided to try Tricoci’s modeling competition out of pure curiosity. Her charm and talent would lead her to taking home the grand prize.
Hundreds expressed their condolences on Twitter this morning after hearing the news of her recent and untimely death.
Tricoci himself released the following statement:
We are saddened and broken-hearted to learn of the tragic passing of Kaylyn Pryor. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family…This touches every one of us who knew and worked with her. Kaylyn will be remembered for her kind and generous spirit. She truly was beautiful inside and out.
In September, the same that Pryor won the contest, Chicago suffered from one of its most violent months in many years, as more than 50 people were shot over the course of two weekends each, back to back. The city also saw its deadliest day in more than a decade on Sept. 2, as there were nine people fatally shot and approximately 12 others wounded from gun violence throughout Chicago.