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Senegalese doctoral student killed by US teen

A U.S. teenager was accused of a series of violent crimes around the University of Chicago campus and a shooting dead of a Senegalese student who was just weeks away from receiving his doctoral degree.

The 16-year-old, whose name was not released, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted robbery with a firearm, and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with the shooting of Amadou Cisse, 29, said police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak.

Cisse was shot in the chest steps from his home near the university on Nov. 19. It happened less than an hour after a university staff member was shot at while walking nearby and two female students were robbed at gunpoint, police said.

The teen also was charged with three counts of armed robbery in connection with those attacks, Kubiak said.

Cisse earlier this month successfully defended his dissertation, a study of how molecules diffuse and migrate through polymers.

The University of Chicago invited the family to send a member to accept the degree on Dec. 7, offering to pay the expenses, according to Cisse's 27-year-old brother, Alioune, a computer engineer. But Cisse's mother said no one would travel from their home in Dakar, Senegal to pick up the degree.

"No, no, no, absolutely no. I will not come," Seynabou Cisse, a pediatric nurse and widowed mother of three told the Chicago Sun-Times.

"It has hit my family very hard," she added. "I am not coming to America. I just can't."

Cisse's father, a military officer, was killed in Gambia.

"Our father died outside of the country. Now Amadou. So my mother is in shock," Alioune told the newspaper. "My mother was asking me this afternoon if the death penalty exists in Chicago. That's how angry we are here."

His brother's body, shipped home by the university, arrived in Dakar on Friday, and the Muslim family held a small burial service, Alioune said.

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