Fatal School Shooting

Shortly after 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, emergency responders rushed to Northeast High School to respond to what appeared to have been a suicide attempt by a student.

The 15-year-old was pronounced dead at Rush Hospital at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.

"We just want to ensure the community that this is an isolated incident and a tragedy for this campus and those students who knew the individual," said Sheriff Billy Sollie.

"You can only imagine the effects its having on this child's friends," said superintendent David Little.

Sometime after the first bell of the day, the student is believed to have entered a restroom in a back building and shot himself. He was discovered by two other students at the school.

Given the circumstances of the case, NewsCenter 11 is not releasing the name of the student. However, he was a black male in the 9th grade, a member of the football and track teams.

According to students and teachers he seemed very happy and outgoing. However, we have learned that he was coping with the recent tragic death of a close loved one.

Historically, suicide rates in the Black community have been relatively low. But according to new studies, they are now on the rise. With this in mind, all parents are being urged to take their children's concerns seriously.

"In graduate school, my research was targeting adolescents," said the Rev. Gerald Hudson. "Parents should really be listening to what their children are saying. If there's anger or if there's an inordinate amount of distress or depression, don't take that lightly. Try to get the child to talk."

According to investigators, the student left a note. We're told that the student made references to not feeling loved.

Following the shooting, students were held in their homeroom classes for almost two hours as investigators secured the site. According to school officials, that restroom will remain closed indefinitely.

Classes at Northeast High School will resume Wednesday. A number of counselors and members of the clergy will be on hand to help students. Meanwhile, they say the school's prom, which is scheduled for this Saturday, will also go on as planned.