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Heartbreak After 17-Year-Old Activist Caleb Reed Is Found Shot Dead

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Caleb Reed was just 17 years old, trying to change lives in the city's Black and Latinx communities.

On Monday night, police were trying to find his killer.

As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, Reed had spent the last two months speaking out about removing Chicago Police offices from Chicago Public Schools. He wanted that money to go toward social workers and causes.

But now, police are the ones trying to track down the person who shot Reed in the head and left him to die.

There was comfort in sharing inside the Communities United space on the city's Northwest Side Monday night. Teenagers and young adults gathered there were trying to process their grief, after Reed, their fellow activist and friend, was shot in the head Friday afternoon just a block from Emmerson Park in West Rogers Park, or West Ridge.

"It feels like I lost a family member, you know?" said activist Derion Smith. "I'm trying my best to stay strong for him and all my friends."

Smith, 19, is a Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, or VOYCE, leader who worked with Reed as he spoke out about his personal experiences with Chicago Police officers.

Back on June 16, Reed spoke at a rally outside City Hall calling for the removal of resource officers from schools. Reed, who attended Stephen Tyng Mather High School, had said he was arrested at a basketball game as a sophomore for simply not having his ID.

"I don't want to ever see no Black person go through something like that, because they're misunderstood," Reed said at the rally.

"He just wanted to work towards, you know, better, and just to know this happened to him, I can't even wrap my head around it," Meyiya Coleman, a VOYCE alumna.

Police were called to the 1900 block of West Granville Avenue around 1 p.m. Friday, where they found Reed shot and lying on the sidewalk.

"There is some concern about that – that it wasn't like a terribly random incident," said Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th).

Vasquez is now pushing to organize block clubs around Emmerson Park.

"If we want to not see this continue, we have to address the root cause," he said.

"We sit here and fight every single day for resources; for less gun violence in our communities – and to you know, my young person just got killed for the same thing that he fights so hard for - it's heartbreaking," Smith said.

The alderman said there might be some video from the crime scene that might help lead police to a suspect, but the investigation continues.

According to Chicago Police Department data, Reed is at least the 38th person under the age of 18 to be murdered in the city this year.


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