Seventeen-year-old Caleb Reed was working with voices of youth in Chicago education, aiming to transform his community and how young black men are seen and treated, but on the last day of July, someone silenced his voice.
Reed was among nine people, including another juvenile, shot and killed in weekend gun violence. He was a so-called "freedom fighter" with the group Good Kids Mad City, which had been calling for the removal of police officers from Chicago Public Schools.
Reed was found on a sidewalk Friday afternoon with a gunshot wound to the head in the 1900 block of West Granville. No one was in custody as of Monday morning.
"This tragedy is traumatizing & heartbreaking," Good Kids Mad City wrote on Twitter. "We can honor him by continuing the call to end [gun violence] & get students resources for healing."
Ald. Andrew Vasquez tweeted that Reed "was a light in our community that was extinguished too soon."
"I'm feeling so much grief right now about my son Caleb," Reed's mother, Sabrina Pleasant, who is hearing impaired, said through an interpreter. "He was such a good boy."
Derriana Ford, Reed's girlfriend, also expressed shock and grief.
"I dated him for three years and I can't believe I've got to bury my boyfriend," she said.
Reed had spoken out at recent demonstrations in Chicago, calling for funding to be used to find solution to heal decades of trauma in city schools.
"He wanted us to have mental health workers inside schools," said his friend Derion Smith.
"He was adamant, he was consistent and he was not going to give up," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer.