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Students honor high school assistant principal Abnerd Joseph, who was shot and killed in Loop high-rise

Students remember assistant principal shot and killed in Loop high-rise
Students remember assistant principal shot and killed in Loop high-rise 02:40

CHICAGO (CBS) – Students from Intrinsic High School, a charter school downtown, put together a tribute for their late assistant principal on Monday.

He was shot and killed last week in a downtown high-rise.

The students gathered in Federal Plaza and released balloons in the air in honor of the life of Abnerd Joseph. Joseph was killed on Thursday night during a quarrel in The Legacy at Millennium Park, 60 E. Monroe St.

Police said officers responded to building a little after 7:30 p.m., and found man who had been shot multiple times in the hallway on the 48th floor.

Joseph, 32, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition and was later pronounced dead.

As of Monday, it remained unclear what started the quarrel that led to Joseph's death. But police sources told CBS 2 that Joseph was seen pounding on doors in the building, and was asked to stop by multiple people – including the doorman and four tenants who went to see what was going on.

The doorman was injured in the exchange.

Another tenant – who has a valid Concealed Carry license – claimed he told Joseph to stop, revealed he was armed, and shot Joseph multiple times when Joseph did not stop.

No charges filed in fatal shooting of assistant HS principal at Loop high-rise 00:33

The 45-year-old man who shot Joseph was taken into custody, but was later released without charges. Area 3 detectives are still investigating. 

Joseph joined Intrinsic High School in 2022 as the assistant principal of culture – focusing on school climate, student discipline, student safety, and other schoolwide procedures. He was a teacher and assistant principal in Atlanta before moving to Chicago.

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by the loss of Mr. Joseph who served our school as an empathetic leader, role model and inspiration for our students. We are communicating this tragedy to our community and providing any support needed to both students and his colleagues during this difficult time. Our hearts are with Mr. Joseph's family," the school said in a statement.

Students said the alleged behavior by Joseph is wholly unlike the person they knew, who greeted them all in the hall with a smile.

"He was a really kind and chill person… in the hall, when you get to see him and things like that, it just made your day," said student Jonathan Wilson. "His smile just saying, 'What's up? How are you?" – things like that – it really made my day."

"You could never tell me this day would come, because the way Mr. Joseph portrayed himself, and the spirit he had – he had his standards high," said student Mariya Thompson. "Like if Mr. Joseph – if something would happen, Mr. Joseph would go above and out of his way for his students."

"He had a good nature. Our school became better, and we weren't labeled as a terrible school," said Delilah Billinghurst. "He may have had his moments, but he made sure at the end of the day, all his students were good. He had relationships – individual relationships. He was involved."

Balloon release held for assistant principal who was shot and killed 02:05

Students held a day of remote learning Monday. Tuesday will be a half day, and will end in another balloon release at Federal Plaza around 12:30 p.m.

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