(CBS4) – A 20-year-old college student who grew up in the Denver area has died after being struck by a stray bullet on a train in Chicago. Max Lewis was a student at the University of Chicago and had been living in Chicago this summer.

Max Lewis

(credit: CBS)

Lewis was heading home last Thursday after a shift at his summer internship downtown when he was gravely wounded on a Green Line CTA elevated train. A bullet seemed to randomly come through the window, striking Max Lewis in the back of the neck. His life ended on Sunday when he was taken off life support.

Friends and family members in Chicago and in Colorado are now mourning the loss. That includes Dr. Rand Harrington, Head of School at Kent Denver where Lewis went to school and graduated from in 2019:

“Max touched so many lives at our school and made a deep and positive impact on all who he met. He was known for his intellect, kindness and generosity of spirit,” Harrington said in a prepared statement.

Lewis was set to enter his junior year with a double major in economics and computer science. His summer internship was at an investment banking company, CBSChicago.com reported.

His friend Joyce Lui told CBS Chicago his death was shocking.

“Knowing someone so close to your heart go through that and have it be another headline was just heartbreaking,” she said.

Another friend, Victoria Gin, said she was upset by the random nature of the crime.

“To have his life taken away from him by someone completely random on his way back to his apartment is just terrifying and hurts too much that someone we know and are so close could have this happen to them,” Gin told CBS Chicago.

The University of Chicago also shared a statement, saying their “community is devastated.” They said Lewis was a talented undergraduate student “and beloved individual who will be greatly missed.”

Max Lewis

(credit: CBS)

Police said Lewis was not the intended target of the person who fired the shot that killed him. They are investigating the case and so far no arrests have been made.

Friends say before passing away, Lewis was able to communicate with members of his family by blinking his eyes.

Lewis’s family home in Colorado is in Cherry Hills Village. His funeral will be held in the Denver area.

A GoFundMe page was set up in part to help cover the cost of bringing University of Chicago students who were friends with Lewis to Denver for the funeral. The rest of the money raised will go charity. As of Monday afternoon, it had already raised more than $40,000.

Rick Sallinger