Rising teen activist killed in shooting in West Rogers Park

Caleb Reed (GoFundMe)

By Tonya Francisco, WGN

Friends of 17-year-old Caleb Reed said Monday they can’t imagine why anyone would murder the rising young activist, who was shot and killed Friday in West Rogers Park.

Police have not made any arrests in this case, and his friends say they can’t comprehend why anyone would shoot Reed.

“He was determined to let everyone know that black and brown youth mental health is so important,” said Meyiya Coleman, VOYCE. “He was a really, really awesome kid.”

Meyiya Coleman remembers 17-year-old Caleb Reed as a shy guy who was first introduced to Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, better known as the VOYCE Project by his girlfriend. It quickly became his passion.

Reed was about to be a senior at Mather High School, and first got interested in activism after he was arrested his sophomore year for not having his ID on him at a school basketball game. He sat in the police station for six hours.

Reed spoke about it during a press conference back in June, calling for Chicago Public Schools to end its contract with Chicago police.

“They label us as dangerous because we are misunderstood, from the color of our skin,” Reed said.

Reed was found shot in the head Friday afternoon on the 1900 block of West Granville, and was rushed to the hospital but died two days later.

VOYCE members have been leaning on each other, like most families do, trying to understand and process his death.

“Caleb wasn’t just a VOYCE leader, he was a brother, a son, he was a friend, he was a force to be reckoned with, he was full of love and laughter and the work continues, but it’s not the same,” said Maria Degillo, VOYCE. “I know we lost someone amazing.”

A vigil will be held for Reed tomorrow at Mather High School, and his parents and others are expected to speak. A GoFundMe Page has been set up by his sister to help pay for his funeral expenses.

This article originally appeared on WGN.

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