By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — Who was Laquan McDonald? CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker takes a look at his complicated life from the view of educators and family friends.

Yolanda Hoskins speaks affectionately about the Laquan McDonald. He was her son’s best friend.

“Happy…and just wanted to be around somebody and feel loved,” she said.

The 17-year-old she knew liked basketball, tacos and gym shoes, but he also had a troubled past.

“He was a ward of the state,” she said. “He was molested too.”

His death at the hands of a Chicago Police officer who’s accused of shooting him 16 times prompted Hoskins to join community activists in a call for justice.

“He wasn’t a threat to no one,” Hoskins said. “He didn’t deserve to be executed like that.”

McDonald attended Sullivan House High school, an alternative school for teens. In the hall, on the wall, a memorial to his short life. He was only there for eight weeks, but in that time he made an impression on teachers and the principal.

“He was happy, outgoing, gave teachers hugs,” said principal Thomas Gattuso. “We don’t usually see that right away but it seems our caring for students sank in for him quicker than others.”

The principal says McDonald’s death last year took an emotional toll on his classmates. The video is expected to bring more pain.

On Monday crisis counselors will be at the school to help the students deal with their anger and grief