NEW YORK (WFAN) -- The Iona Gaels community was in shock late Thursday by the tragic death of incoming recruit Michael Haynes.
Haynes was shot in the wrist, back and chest on Thursday afternoon in Chicago, rushed to the hospital and later declared dead, police said.
"We are saddened by the news of the death of Michael Haynes in Chicago," Iona's athletic department posted on its Twitter page.
His cousin, Kandice Blouin, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Haynes was killed near his home after trying to break up an altercation over a stolen necklace.
"He was an innocent victim, very loved by everybody," Blouin told the Sun-Times. "He was our meal ticket. He was going to heal this hood and they took his life."
The 22-year-old was one of nine incoming recruits for Iona coach Tim Cluess. The forward averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds last season for Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, according to the New York Daily News.
"It's just so hard," Cluess told the Daily News. "I don't know how to describe it. Once you got to know Michael you just couldn't wait to coach him. He came from a very rough area in Chicago and he just wanted to make a better life for himself. He was just looking for a chance to change his life."
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