A candlelight vigil was held Monday night for Dajae Coleman, 14, the promising Chicago High School basketball star who was shot and killed as he was walking home from a party in Evanston Saturday night.
"He was just like me in every way imaginable. He was just like me - from his humor, his personality."
A memorial for Dajae continues to grow at the spot where he was gunned down, with a basketball signed by his friends and a Miami Heat hat representing his love for basketball and his hero LeBron James. But according to friends and family, it’s the essay Dajae wrote that has touched his grieving parents the most.
His mother said:
"It was his dying statement and God put those words in him for a reason because he needed us to know how much we meant to him before he left."
The essay, dated September 20th, reads in part:
"My mom pushes me to do better, she always tells me never to settle. I think the kids that are on the street not doing anything with their lives don't get the type of support they need from family."
Richard Coleman, Dajae’s father, said:
"Even if he didn't play basketball he still would have been someone you would have known. He would have been a Dr. Coleman, a CEO Mr. Coleman, it would have been something with a label, with a tag.”
A moment of silence was observed in honor of Dajae at Evanston High School on Monday.
Evanston police are not releasing any details, except to say that the shooting remains an active investigation.
Memorial Fund set up for the family of Dajae Coleman
Evanston Township High School has set up a memorial fund to accept donations on behalf of Dajae Coleman's family. All checks or money orders should be made out to ETHS District 202 and can be sent to:
Evanston Township High School
ATTN: Dajae Coleman Memorial Fund
1600 Dodge Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201
For more information, visit http://bit.ly/SiOl7I