Watch CBS News

Marquis Campbell: Teen Shooting Victim With 'Contagious' Smile Likely Was Targeted, Police Say

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- As Pittsburgh Police continue the search for two people who are accused of killing 15-year-old Marquis Campbell, some of those closest to him are remembering him.

Campbell was shot twice in the chest by two masked suspects who remain at large. The shooting happened just outside Oliver Citywide Academy right around dismissal time Wednesday afternoon. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he died a short time later.

The Oliver Citywide Academy principal calls it a devastating loss for the community.

"He was a kid that all of the staff really loved and cared deeply about him. He's going to be really missed by his peers and the staff at Oliver Citywide," Principal Tony Esoldo said. He calls it a devastating loss for the community.

Marquis Campbell (1)
(Photo: Pittsburgh Public Schools)

Campbell was in the ninth grade and had attended Oliver Citywide Academy since the third grade. He was excited to be back in school on Wednesday after a long weekend and COVID closures.

"His smile was contagious and lit up a room," Pittsburgh Public Schools Interim Superintendent Wayne Walters said. "His sense of humor was infectious, and the staff member said that staff are inconsolable at this time because they loved him so much."

On Thursday, it was a cold gray sky and an empty school. Students are staff were learning remotely.

"People are truly devastated. The range of emotions as you can imagine from being sad to still being in shock to being afraid," Esoldo said.

He said he doesn't know what Monday will bring when students are back in class, but there will be an irreplaceable hole.

"It's just a time for us to really come together and try and grieve and navigate this horrific event," Esolodo said.

According to him, Campbell was always quick-witted and knew how to put a smile on your face.

"He could really make everybody laugh. He liked to joke with people and tease people that he knows and he cares about," Esoldo said over Zoom.

He said the ninth grader cared deeply about his school work and was always focused on good grades. Between all that, he knew how to style and profile down the hall as he was really into fashion.

"He was getting really tall and we wanted to get him on the basketball team but I don't think he wanted to get his shoes dirty," Esoldo said with a laugh.

He said he will always remember the laughs and smiles shared with Campbell, but he will never forget how much the 15-year-old was loved.

"Especially by his mother. Very close family. It's a really tragic loss for them and our hearts and our thoughts and prayers are with them," Esoldo said.

Watch: KDKA's coverage from the scene Wednesday:

He spoke with Campbell's mother today and was able to share some happy thoughts in between some tears.

Esoldo has received support from coworkers around the district. Services are being provided to students and staff.

Investigators said Campbell likely was targeted, but they don't have many leads in the case. Ther were no new developments on Thursday.

"This is obviously, for us, a tragedy anytime anyone is shot, but to have a teenager in front of a school is something we don't accept," Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said. "We're going to do everything we can with our investigative resources, every tool we have to try to locate the people that were involved and get them into custody."

KDKA-TV's Jessica Guay talked to some of Campbell's family members, who were upset some of them weren't allowed inside the hospital to say goodbye because of COVID-19 protocols.

Details about a possible motive aren't known yet.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.