Family Mourns the Death of a Dance Coach Who Was Killed near His Studio

Cathrine Mabvudza
May 27, 2021
06:00 A.M.

A Chicago family is mourning the death of Verndell Smith, a dance coach who was fatally shot near his studio last Wednesday. Smith was a local hero who provided a safe space for children in the community.


Chicago's South Side community is still reeling from the shocking death of Verndell Smith, a 32-year-old dance instructor who was shot and killed by an unknown assailant(s) on the morning of Wednesday, May 19.

According to Chicago Sun-Times, Smith was walking near his studio, the Ultimate Threat Dance Organization, in the Park Manor neighborhood when the driver of a silver SUV drove into the parking lot and opened fire.

Screenshot of photo of Verndell Smith. | Source: Youtube/Fox 32 Chicago

Screenshot of photo of Verndell Smith. | Source: Youtube/Fox 32 Chicago

Smith was reportedly injured on his leg, torso, and forehead. Paramedics called to the scene rushed him to the University of Chicago Medical Center, but to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Smith's death came as a shock to his family and community, which hailed him as a local hero for the work he was doing for kids in his neighborhood through his dance studio.


Smith's sister, LaToya Smith, relayed the impact that her brother had on the community and how his motto, "Stop shooting and start dancing," changed the lives of many children. She said:

"He wanted to give other children an outlet to forget their struggles in life."


Smith, who was affectionately known as Vee, started his dance company ten years ago, and through the years, he not only taught children how to dance, but he also encouraged them to stay off the streets and pursue different interests.

The authorities have made no arrests nor do they have an idea of the shooter's possible motive.

Along with his sister, many others spoke of his good deeds, recalling times when he encouraged his young dancers to stop carrying guns and even playing the role of a guardian when needed.


Fellow dance studio owner, Devoureaux Wolf, called Smith, who danced despite being partially deaf, a "dance legend." While many expressed their affections towards him through words, the community also followed through with action.

On Saturday following the fatal shooting, Smith's family, friends, and students honored his life and influence by releasing hundreds of red, black, and orange balloons outside the Dunkin' Donuts where he was shot.

It's been a week since Smith's tragic death, and the case is still ongoing. According to People, the authorities have made no arrests, nor do they have an idea of the shooter's possible motive.

At the same time, Smith's family and friends are appealing for the shooter to turn himself in. Besides being a dance instructor, brother, and friend to many, Smith was also a father to a 10-year-old boy.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy

news.AmoMama.com does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. news.AmoMama.com speaks out against the above mentioned and news.AmoMama.com advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.

Related posts

'Sweet Boy', 2, Dies in Rugby Club as Father Tries to Save Him: 'Our Hearts Are Shattered'

February 02, 2024

Barbara Campbell Was Sam Cooke’s Wife Who Remarried Just Months after His Death

December 25, 2023

Head Tattoos and Wig: What Michael Jackson’s Autopsy Revealed About Him

December 06, 2023

This Stewardess Fell for a TV Star When He Was a Student — Here's How It All Started with a Forest Fire

March 07, 2024

Dad, Who Cried on Camera over Late 5-Year-Old Son, Arrested for His Murder 34 Years Later – Details

January 15, 2024

Mean Boss Sends Loyal Employee to Jail, Karma Catches up with Him Later – Story of the Day

January 24, 2024

Anna Nicole Smith’s Daughter Lost Decade-Long Legal Battle over Multimillion-Dollar Fortune

November 09, 2023

Huge Star Marries This Man in Smoky Hotel Room – He Flies Miles to Her on a Stolen Plane after Learning She Was Hurt

March 05, 2024

Sitcom Legend Wed This Man Who Was Her School Crush – Years Later He Came Out as Gay

March 05, 2024

ABBA Star Anni-Frid Lyngstad Leads Quiet Life Years Following Tragic Death of Her Daughter

December 20, 2023

‘Healthy’ 4th Grader Shot While Sitting in the Living Room & Waiting for His Brother to Check His Homework

November 23, 2023

Texas Surgeon & His 2 Young Children Found Dead: 'The Tragedy That This Family Has Endured Is Unimaginable'

January 17, 2024

Users Defend Pierce Brosnan's Wife & Their Marriage after Viral Post Compared Couple's before & after Looks

December 21, 2023

9-Year-Old Boy Killed after He Got off the School Bus: ‘It Is Absolutely Devastating for This Family'

January 19, 2024