Caleb Herrick walked with a purpose Tuesday night along Truman and Winner Roads near Van Horn High School.
Herrick, a 16-year-old sophomore at Van Horn High, planned to attend a vigil for classmate Javon Reilly.
Reilly, also a 16-year-old Van Horn student, was fatally shot Monday afternoon as he tried to walk away from a confrontation with a man near the school, according to court documents.
Jackson County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Tymon Reed, 20, of Kearney, with second-degree murder in the shooting. Reed also faces one count of armed criminal action.
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Reilly was fatally shot shortly before 2:40 p.m. Monday in a driveway at a home in the 1100 block of South Home Avenue, just east of Van Horn.
Herrick said Reilly was a good friend whom Herrick constantly joked with. Reilly’s death left Herrick with a sense of sadness, he said. He described Reilly as nice, caring and respectful.
“I miss the dude, already,” he said.
Family friend Sara Thompson, of Holden, said Reilly “seemed to be on the right track.” Reilly was studying hard to make sure his grades were good enough so that he could play on the school’s football and basketball teams, she said, and he was loyal to his family.
According to court documents, Reilly was walking home from school when Reed, apparently angry with one of Reilly’s friends, confronted Reilly. The teen tried to walk away, but Reed pursued him and pulled out a handgun.
The two briefly struggled over the gun. The gun fired, wounding Reilly, who tried to limp away. But Reed allegedly fired at Reilly several more times, killing him, according to prosecutors.
Reilly’s mother, Jackie Reilly, led a group of family and friends onto the athletic field at Van Horn for the vigil. More than 100 people attended. Most, Jackie Reilly said, were trying to make sense of her son’s death.
“He was a very outgoing, athletic kid,” she said. “He was a boy that tried. He loved people.”
Jackie Reilly added she had a message for his classmates and peers.
“Keep your head up and stay away from guns,” she said.
Immediately after the shooting Monday, Independence police pursued a suspect vehicle into Kansas City and arrested two people at Northeast Barry Road and North Troost Avenue. But on Tuesday police said the two suspects were not involved in the shooting and were held on other charges.
A Pleasant Valley police officer who attempted to join the chase collided with a school bus. The officer went to a hospital with a minor head injury and no children were injured, according to police.
At Van Horn, extra counselors were available to students affected by Javon Reilly’s death, according to the Independence School District.
Jackie Reilly said she drove around throughout Monday night and early Tuesday morning trying to find the person responsible for her son’s death. The effort, she said, was futile.
“I didn’t even know who I was looking for, but I was out looking for him,” she said.
Friends of the family set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for Javon Reilly’s funeral.
Prosecutors are requesting a $200,000 cash bond in the case.