By DAVID STRUETT
Homicide Watch Chicago
Before he moved back to Chicago to play semi-professional football and to marry his girlfriend, 30-year-old Michael R. Evans worked hard to succeed.
That’s what makes his untimely death to Chicago’s violence so tragic, according to his family.
“There’s so many people in different areas of the city that he touched,” Evan’s sister, Claudette Evans, said. “He’s definitely going to be missed.”
Evans, a father of one, was found lying on the ground in the early morning hours November 8, 2017.
He had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead on the scene at 2:30 a.m. in the 8100 block of South Colfax in the South Chicago neighborhood, police and the medical examiner said.
Evan’s mother and two sisters were shocked by his death. Michael was a driven young man who was never connected to the streets, according to his mother and sister.
“He was not affiliated in that street life,” his sister, Claudette Evans, said. “He wanted to better himself. Education was something he wanted to do to further his life.”
Evans had attended Parkland College in Champaign and worked two jobs to get by—as a bouncer at a nightclub and as a clerk for a store.
The last time Evans talked to his mom, he was checking in on her, asking if she needed anything.
She said he was also trying to upgrade his life.
“He was my only son,” his mom said. “He tried to upgrade his life with every means necessary.”
Evans was a loyal man who visited his 8-year-old son, Michael Jr., in Champaign, “whenever his car would run,” his mom said. “He would try to visit him as much as he could so his son would know his father.”
Evans was a wide receiver for the semi-professional Chicago-based Cowboys. He played football during high school, so his girlfriend Seaniqua Flax wasn’t surprised he continued to play into adulthood.
“Football was his passion,” Claudette Evans said.
“He was so dedicated to the team. He never missed practice and went to all the games. Michael even dragged me along,” Flax said laughing.
When Evans wasn’t playing sports, he could be found working on computers—his specialty. Claudette Evans described him as a “techie” who loved math and anything to do with numbers.
“He liked to fix computers. He was a hands-on man,” his sister, Shirley Watson, said. “He always wanted to break down something and build it back up. He was like that from the first time he started walking.”
Family and friends remember Michael Evans as a popular, athletic, driven man.
Evans’ mother was proud of him.
“He might have had some ups and downs, but they never did put him down,” she said. “When the hurdles came, he jumped.”