By Anika Utke

In the Seattle School District, some students have been forced to experience tragic losses at a premature age. On March 14, a student at Cleveland High School, senior Robert Robinson Jr., was killed. Police reported hearing gunshots on Beacon Hill at around 4 pm on Sunday. The case was categorized as a hit and run with the only connection to the perpetrator being a blue Honda. Robinson was found with a gunshot wound after walking near South Forest Street and 15th Avenue South, less than two miles from the high School. Witnesses in the area recall hearing two gunshots. Robinson was being transferred to Harborview Medical Center, but died on the way there.

He wasn’t identified until the morning after when his family recognized Robinson’s clothes lying on the ground on TV and knew he was late to arrive home. Police are still searching for the shooter and as of now have no evidence. Currently the hit and run isn’t being seen as a result of gang violence or a race crime, but as the police hunt down the shooter they will also search for the motive behind Robinson’s tragic death. The South Precinct Commander, Captain David Proudfoot recognized that in just the last month there had been 19 shootings.

Cleveland sent out a letter to students and their families on March 16 to help students through any grief they may be feeling and offer up the services of the counselors. The letter, in part, read:

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share the tragic news that one of our students, was killed yesterday afternoon in a shooting,” the administration addressed “As a community, I know we will come together to not only support our students’ family members, but work to ensure our larger community is a safe place for us to live, learn and work.”

Last Thursday Cleveland hosted a vigil in Robinson’s memory for those wishing to honor his memory.

High school is a time where teenagers are forced to be exposed to the real world before adulthood. Unfortunately, untimely deaths have become part of what some students are lead to face. For high schoolers, most would not have a much exposure to death. Many will not know how to mourn and grieve while still being expected to do well in school and carry on with their lives. Though different experiences and different events led to the loss of life now mourned by Seattle communities, it is important to recognize the tragedy that still exists and think kindly for his friends and family suffering through this dark time.

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