Student killed Wednesday was responsible, well-liked

May 26, 2011 8:30:06 PM PDT
An Oakland teen who was gunned down near Castlewood Leadership Preparatory High School just weeks before he was set to graduate from the school was a well-liked and responsible student, a school district spokesman said Thursday.

Ditiyan Franklin Jr., 17, was shot at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at 2421 Ritchie St., near Arroyo Viejo Park, and later died at Highland Hospital, Oakland police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said.

The teen was scheduled to present his senior project today and was planning to go to community college after graduating, Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint said.

He worked as an aide in the principal's office and was remembered as someone who was extremely dependable, especially for his age, Flint said.

"Everyone is absolutely is shocked," Flint said. "Emotions are very wild. The kids are broken up. The staff is as well."

He said Ditiyan's discipline file was clean.

"He was a quiet person but someone who was popular as well," Flint said.

Several grief counselors were at the Castlewood campus today to help grieving students and staff, he said.

The school's graduation ceremony will also now include some type of recognition of Ditiyan.

"It's another senseless loss of life," Flint said. "It shows how much urgency we need to place in coming together as a community to condemn violence and restore our respect for human life and dignity."

He added that people need to consider the ripple effect their actions have in situations like these.

It was unclear today whether Ditiyan was targeted or what the shooter's motive was, but Flint said that either way, acts of violence go far beyond the initial target.

"The effect is exponential," he said. "I don't know if enough thought is always given to that."