Candlelight vigil held for teen killed in Evanston - FOX 32 News Chicago

Candlelight vigil held for teen killed in Evanston

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

With heavy hearts and candles in hand, approximately 200 people surrounded Tiffany Rice in prayer and song in the Evanston neighborhood where her 14-year-old son Dajae Coleman was gunned down.

SEE: Evanston student athlete, 14, shot to death walking home

Rice says she can't stop thinking about an essay Dajae wrote four days ago titled "My Belief Statement," his last words to those he loved.

"I read it all day," Dajae's mother says. "I find solace in it. I look at it as his dying statement."

In it, the honors student praises his mother, saying, "when she knows I'm slipping in school, she's all on me. I am very lucky to have her as my mom. I care about her the most..."

"He knew how important high school was, because I rammed that in his head so many times," Rice continued.

Dajae, who was a freshman at Evanston Township High also wrote about his grandfather, Michael Rice:

"He taught me that it takes hard work and dedication to get what you want..." Dajae wrote. "He's also very nice to me. He makes sure I have a lot of confidence in myself. "

"His embrace, it felt like he could just melt inside of me," Michael Rice, Dajae's grandfather said.

Even those who never met Dajae came to honor the talented football and basketball player.

Resident Steven Hill came out to the vigil to show his support. "The whole community should get together and end this," Hill said.

Dajae was shot in the chest at the 1500 block of Church Street as he and his friends were walking home from a friend's party at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Dajae's grandfather wonders if a fight at the party may be connected to his murder.

Many people who came to the vigil wore red, which was Dajae's favorite color because it's the color of the Miami Heat.

Evanston police say they are making progress in the investigation and are still searching for Dajae's killer.

Evanston Township High School has set up a memorial fund to help Dajae Coleman's family.

You can drop off money to the high school, mail in a donation or do it online.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

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