Vigil held for teen shot and killed Friday night
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Family and friends met Monday afternoon to honor the life of 16-year-old Curtis Frazier Jr.
The South Bend Riley High School student was shot and killed Friday.
The field was packed with students, teachers and family of Curtis, even Pete Buttigieg came for support.
Curtis was a player on the Junior Varsity football team. He is remembered for his love of sports and his smile.
“Students are hurting today, our football team is hurting, wrestlers, coaches,” Principal Shawn Henderson said.
He said Curtis was embedded into every part of the high school.
“Curtis is more than just a student, he was family, he was someone’s son, he was a teammate, someone’s best friend,” Henderson said.
“He was quiet when he was around us. Just in his eyes you could tell he just wanted to be a part of something, wanted to be involved,” Jarvis Edison, the head football coach at Riley, said.
Curtis was shot and killed on Sampson street on the city’s Southeast side Friday night.
18-year-old Makyi Toliver was also shot but survived at least ten bullet wounds. He was treated and then sent home. No suspects have been arrested and it’s not clear what led to the deadly shooting of a young man who earned love and respect at Riley.
“He had a smile that would make his eyes disappear. As a freshman coming in I just remember him and his huge flattop,” Henderson said.
“I was just delighted to have him around. He always showed myself as well as staff and teammates the upmost respect,” Edison said.
Family and friends decided to hold a balloon release and vigil on the Riley High School football field Monday because of Curtis’s passion for the game.
“That’s all he wanted to talk about. I asked him what he wanted to do, what he wanted to do when he grows up. ‘I want to play football. I’m going to the pros,’” Edison said.
He said he was surprised and heartbroken when he got the news after the varsity game on Friday night.
“I was just stunned. Like no, not, no, no not him,” Edison said. “It hurt my heart. It was like somebody hit me in the chest.”
“It’s not easy, it’s not easy for them to lose a classmate and to lose a friend,” Henderson said.
Riley High School brought in grief counselors and pastors to help students deal with the loss.
Throughout the day, students were allowed to leave class to speak to someone about what happened.
“There was probably, 40, 50 outside community agencies here supporting our students and the needs that they have,” he said.
Henderson said faith leaders have been at the school all day helping kids and he welcomes any help for the students throughout the week.
The autopsy results for Curtis show he died of a gunshot wound. It has been ruled a homicide.
The other teenager shot was treated and sent home.