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Street Named For Blair Holt, Teen Slain Shielding Friend From Gunfire

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A street near Percy L. Julian High School has been named in honor of Blair Holt, the 16-year-old boy who was killed 10 years ago Wednesday when he shielded a friend from gunfire on board a CTA bus.

Blair was an honor student at Julian when he died trying to protect a classmate as a purported gang member opened fire on a crowded bus, allegedly trying to shoot a rival on May 10, 2007. Witnesses said Blair pushed a female classmate down in her seat, shielding her from the bullets from the gunman's .40 caliber pistol.

Blair Holt
Blair Holt, 16, was shot and killed while protecting a friend when a gang member opened fire on a CTA bus on May 10, 2007. (Family Photo)

The street in front of Julian – 103rd Street between Vincennes and Elizabeth – has been designated "Blair DeLane Holt Way." The city posted the honorary street name on Wednesday, the 10th anniversary of Blair's death.

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), and other dignitaries joined Blair's parents at the ceremony, which was part of Julian High School's "Peace Week."

"To lose a child, and lose your only child – not that it makes it any better – but just to lose your legacy that you put so much into, for something that didn't have to happen, I think that hurts more than anything," said Blair's mother, Annette Nance-Holt. "If he had cancer, if he had been hit by a car, I might kind of understand a little bit better; not much. But just to get him taken away from me when I dropped him off at school that morning, coming home from the firehouse, and telling him to do good, and that I loved him, they don't know what they took from us. They took everything from us."

The man convicted of killing Blair, 26-year-old Michael Pace, was sentenced to 100 years in prison for Blair's murder, but an appeals court has ordered a new sentencing hearing, based on what it said were improper comments by the judge at Pace's sentencing.

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