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Shooting victim graduates from Leo: ‘He has a future ahead of him’

Miles Turner V is all dressed up for his graduatiSunday Leo High School.

Miles Turner V is all dressed up for his graduation Sunday at Leo High School.

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Updated: July 4, 2013 6:51AM

Six months ago, Miles Turner V was in a medically induced coma after he was shot trying to protect his younger cousin. On Sunday, Turner received his high school diploma to a standing ovation.

The Leo High School senior arrived at Saint Margaret of Scotland Church in a limousine. He sat with 24 other graduating seniors — all dressed in matching black and white tuxedos. He whispered with friends, exchanged high fives with classmates and raised one finger in the air as he sang the school fight song with other recent graduates.

“It means a lot,” said Turner’s father, Miles Turner IV. “My only son, youngest child, is graduating. . . . He has a future ahead of him. For a minute, it didn’t look like he was going to make it.”

Turner, 18, even has a part-time computer job lined up with Gov. Pat Quinn and hopes to go to college.

The only indication that Turner’s senior year was different from that of his classmates was that Turner sat in wheelchair, which he has needed to get around since he was shot last fall.

The gunman approached Turner and his cousin, 17-year-old Modell McCambry, at a gathering in the 6300 block of South Rhodes around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 13, 2012, authorities said. McCambry, a purported gang member, was shot twice in the chest and died. Turner attempted to intervene and was shot five times.

Turner was rushed to the hospital and was put in a medically induced coma until mid-December — ending a promising football career, family members said. He was transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in early February and immediately began working with teachers to catch up on schoolwork, school officials said.

Graduating was “always the goal once I got there,” Turner said.

“It was just an honor to work with him,” said Leo math teacher Christine Meany, who taught Turner during his rehab. “I heard nothing but positive comments from him . . . He was always positive. I just found it amazing. He never said anything negative about it.”

Quinn visited Turner in the hospital and extended a job offer after learning that he was good with computers, said Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for the governor.

Turner said he has always wanted to be a video game designer and hopes to pursue that as a career. He will spend the next six months continuing his rehab and then start looking at colleges, his father said.

“Everything just got a little delayed,” his father said. “We are a strong family, and he knows he can still do anything he wants. There is just going to be a little more work involved.”

Turner, who can stand with assistance in rehab, hopes to walk one day, family members said. He was released from the rehab center on May 3 and attended his senior prom later that night. On Sunday, he was taking graduation pictures with family and friends outside the church in the 9800 block of South Throop.

Turner still must attend rehab sessions three times a week, but Sunday was about graduating, and the former football player and his family celebrated reaching that goal at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Tinley Park.

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