Family and friends remembered Jamil Shaw in Arlington Heights Monday.
Jamiel Shaw II dedicated his life to the game of football and to his grades. He was a very good student.
A makeshift memorial marks the spot where he was killed, less than three blocks from his home.
Seventeen-year-old Jamiel Shaw II had all the makings of a success story. The senior at Los Angeles high school was a good student and star football player who had multiple colleges interested in bringing him into their football programs. Last season he earned Best Athlete of the Year honors at Los Angeles High School. His mother, Anita Shaw, is a sergeant in the army serving her second tour of duty in Iraq.
Sadly, this success story ends in tragedy. The often brutal gang-ridden streets of L.A. snatched this promising man's life Sunday night.
"They killed him while his mother is in Iraq, fighting, dodging bullets, and she gets a phone call saying her son is on the streets of L.A. dead ... for what?" said Jamiel Shaw, the victim's father.
Seventeen candles -- for his 17 years of life -- marked the spot where Shaw was killed Sunday night. Authorities say just before 9 p.m., Hispanic gang members walked up to Shaw while he was less than three blocks from his home on 5th Ave. in Arlington Heights, and shot him dead.
"He did everything we asked of him," said Shaw's father. "It's not right. We don't know what to do now. This is who we were living for."
Authorities say it appears the gang members asked Shaw if he belonged to a gang, and shot him even though he answered no.
"This is brutal. It's a brutal, senseless act of violence," said LAPD Detective Frank Carillo. "The victim was not a gang member, and unfortunately it's not uncommon in L.A. that we have some gang members approaching victims at random just to see if they are or are not [gang members] -- but to shoot him anyway? That's just disgusting."
Authorities are asking for the public's help. If you have information related to this case, you are asked to call the LAPD at (877) LAW-FULL (529-3855).