15-year-old Rauner College Prep student fatally shot on Northwest Side

Students at Rauner College Prep in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood are grieving the loss of one of their own, a student who was shot a few blocks away from school Tuesday.

Police said 15-year-old Caleb Westbrooks was in the 800 block of North Greenview Avenue about 1:14 p.m. when someone approached him, pulled out a gun and opened fire.

Caleb Westbrooks tried to run away, but suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and left arm, police said. He was transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition but later died from his injuries.


Caleb Westbrooks' father, Corneal, issued a statement on the passing of his son Thursday:

"Our world is shattered. Caleb was a smart, vivacious and athletic teenager who was looking forward to a bright future with goals and dreams that now will go unfulfilled. 

We want to thank his friends and witnesses who, after hearing the shots, ran to him, comforted him and stayed with him. We also want to thank the paramedic/EMTs who cared for him and got him to the hospital, the 12th District police officers who were on scene and the detectives now investigating this heinous crime. Additionally, we are grateful to the neighbors in the Noble Square area who have assisted those detectives in their investigation.

Caleb was one of five teens shot in Chicago Tuesday. Five! Caleb also was the second student to be shot and killed walking home from school in less than a week. How did our city get here? Have Chicagoans become desensitized to the violence that permeates virtually every corner of our city?  

Unfortunately, this senseless violence is likely to continue unabated until the elected and appointed leadership of the city and county stop point pointing fingers at one another and take personal responsibility for the role they have played in the disintegration of the criminal justice system as well as the lack of critical mental health services in Chicago and Cook County. "

Caleb Westbrooks was a freshman at Rauner College Prep. Brendan Bedell, the school’s principal, alerted the school community about the shooting, saying Caleb was a fun person who brought positivity to his classmates and teachers.

Caleb Westbrooks | Family provided photo

"Caleb was a 9th grader with so much personality," the statement read. "He loved to crack a joke and always brought positivity and light to his classmates and teachers. Caleb touched so many lives in his time at Rauner."

The school community was asked to support the boy’s family as they plan memorial services. Grief counselors were present at the school for students.

Chicago police offered a vague description of the offender - a male wearing all black clothing, white shoes and a surgical mask. Police said he was also carrying a black backpack. He was seen running southbound from the scene.

Nobody is in custody as Area Three Detectives investigate.

About an hour earlier, a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were shot in West Englewood. No arrests have been reported in either shooting.

In Pullman, A 16-year old boy and an 11-year old girl were shot and wounded in the 12200 block of South Lowe. Police said a male offender was wearing a black ski mask.

Both incidents were drive-by shootings.


More than half of the nine people hit by gunfire in Chicago Tuesday were 17 or younger.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has asked the Biden administration for federal agents to be sent to Chicago to help with the gun violence crisis. She said the resources would result in more arrests and prosecutions. 

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.