Rauner College Prep students left flowers and notes at an intersection in Chicago’s Noble Square neighborhood to remember and honor their classmate Caleb Westbrook, who was fatally shot Tuesday.
“He was the joy of school,” said classmate Julie Robinson. “Caleb, he put a smile on everyone’s face and no matter what he was going through, he made everyone around him feel comfortable.”
The 15-year-old was shot and killed around 1.15pm on Wednesday after being expelled from school. NBC 5 learned he was walking with friends to a bus stop in Greenview and Chicago when police said someone approached him and shot him.
“He was a good person,” said classmate Jayden Strzelczyk. “The things that happened to him that should never have happened because he was actually a good person.”
Westbrook was a freshman at Rauner and was loved by many of his classmates and professors. They described him as a ray of light – a young life full of personality and positivity.
“All day today at Rauner College Prep, everyone was crying,” said classmate Ahmani Paskel Dobing. “It was moving, he’s like our missing piece.”
He was one of at least six children shot dead in the city in the past 24 hours. His former junior football coach said more needed to be done to tackle the violence.
“It’s just tragic over the last 20 years, I’ve lost 18, 19, or 20 kids, it’s just like, when is this going to stop,” Tim Hall said.
Hall said Westbook enjoys playing football. He was part of the Garfield Park Gators for two years, intended to go to college and always did the right thing.
“Whoever did this, please have heart, be remorseful and just surrender,” he said. “Make it easier for the Westbrook family, they don’t deserve this.”
A memorial for Westbrook is scheduled for Saturday, January 22 at 12 p.m. in Garfield Park. His former coach and his teammates organize the memorial.
As to what led to the shooting, detectives are still investigating the motive and no suspects are in custody.