Family, friends hold vigil for Venice football player who died from sudden illness

VENICE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A local community was in mourning after the death of a popular high school student. On Friday, friends and family held a vigil in Venice to remember the 15-year-old football player.

Family and friends came together to comfort each other and remember Joe Tachiki. Dozens who gathered said they were stunned by the teenager's death.

Joe was the captain of the junior varsity football team at Venice High School. Recently, he was diagnosed with two unruptured aneurysms.

Doctors operated on one of the aneurysm last week. The teen was recovering from that surgery when relatives said the second aneurysm burst.

On Thursday, after tests showed no brain activity, Joe was taken off life support.

Football players and friends from the school were wearing Joe's number, 56, in his honor.

Some said he was like a brother.

"I just learned a lot from the kid," said teammate Ricky Carrillo. "Tachiki wasn't like any ordinary player - he was always happy, smart, brilliant kid, had a future, most definitely."

During the night's memorial, Joe's grandfather said some of his organs were being donated.

"If they get these organs and they go on living, we feel that at least part of Joe is going to be living and that is somewhat of a comfort," he said.
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