CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s been five years since Blair Holt was shot and killed on a CTA bus on his way home from school.
WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports students at the high school he attended used the anniversary to promote peace.
Current students at Percy Julian High School don’t even know Holt, who died well before they started high school, but the 16-year-old’s presence is still felt throughout the school.
Students said the school has more security guards and other safety measures now than it did in 2007.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports
Blair’s father Ronald Holt – now head of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy – said, as senseless as his son’s death was, it served as a catalyst for anti-violence movements.
“Blair’s death actually became the spark that lit the flame for organizations across America to really move to action,” he said.
He also urged students to take the dreams of young innocents who have died too young, and to make them their own.
“They can fulfill those legacies, and they can actually create a stronger community in which they live,”
Among those who came back for the peace day assembly was Tiara Reed, the friend Holt was shielding when a gang member boarded their CTA bus and opened fire, trying to shoot a rival. Holt was shot and killed instead, trying to protect Reed.
“I haven’t really cried,” she said. “But when I see the pictures and I see everybody coming together, it reminds me of yesterday, it’s just like it just happened.”
Reed said she’ll graduate from the FBI Academy on Saturday.