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‘He was loved by so many’: Fundraiser started for mother of Gurnee teen shot and killed in Waukegan

Ladarrius M. Cowart, 18, of Gurnee. | Provided Photo.

A fundraiser has been started for the family of an 18-year-old Gurnee man shot and killed in Waukegan’s Bowen Park. Family friends describe the teen as an amazing person who was loved by many.

Ladarrius M. Cowart, 18, of Gurnee, died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.

Officers with the Waukegan Police Department responded to calls of shots fired around 2:20 a.m. Sunday at Bowen Park, 1800 North Sheridan Road in Waukegan.

Officers located Cowart, who had been shot in one of the park’s parking lots, according to Waukegan Deputy Police Chief Joe Florip.

Paramedics pronounced Cowart dead at the scene. The Waukegan Police Criminal Investigations Division was called to investigate the shooting.

Investigators believe that numerous people, possibly between 50-70, were in the parking lot when the shooting occurred.

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None of the witnesses have come forward, Florip said.

A man was shot and killed in the parking lot of Bowen Park, 1800 North Sheridan Road in Waukegan, early Sunday morning. | Photo: Google Street View.

“We know there are witnesses to this crime. For this violence to stop, members of the community must come forward,” Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles said.

Numerous shell casings were located at the scene but police are not releasing the number of casings found or calibers of the casings.

Gurnee resident Hazel Truesdell, who is a family friend of Cowart, created a GoFundMe account to help his family with the financial burden of the funeral.

Truesdell said that Cowart was an “amazing son, brother, nephew, and friend” and was “loved by so many.”                          

He was hanging out with his friends at the park after attending a graduation party earlier in the day when his life was taken by “senseless gun violence,” Truesdell said.

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She said the teen had no gang affiliation or criminal record. “His family is truly devastated by his sudden loss. The last thing a parent should have to do is bury their child.”

Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to contact the Waukegan Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 847-360-9001.

The incident remains under investigation by the Waukegan Police Department and Lake County Coroner’s Office.