Family, friends mourn popular student killed in drive-by, plead for help in catching killer

(Photo: Seattle Public Schools)

SEATTLE -- Students and staff at Cleveland High School were grieving Monday, less than 24 hours after a senior was gunned down during a drive-by-shooting in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood.

It happened at 15th Avenue South and South Forest Street on Sunday afternoon.

Police are still on the hunt for their suspect, last seen driving a blue or green Honda Civic or Accord.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office said on Monday that Robert Robinson Jr., 17, died from a gunshot wound to his chest. The manner of death is homicide.

Robert’s classmates were stunned.

“I talked to him once, he’s funny,” said Alijah McGinnis Whiting.

“He’s a really cool guy, he’d just talk to anybody,” Sam Ly said.

Seattle homicide and gang unit detectives were searching for his killer, as a memorial of flowers, balloons, and candles grows at the spot where Robert was murdered.

Classmate Jerome Petty described Robert as someone who always tried to make his friends smile.

“He was popular in a lot of groups,” said Petty. “He hung out with everybody, talked with everybody.”

Grief counselors are on hand at Cleveland High School to help students and staff coping with the sudden loss.

“We’ve got staff members who are in tears, students,” said Stacy Howard with Seattle Public Schools. “Everybody grieves in a different way, some people want to talk, some don’t. So we’re just here to support them and remind them this is a place they can feel safe.”

In a Facebook message, Robert’s cousin told Q13 Fox News that his family is heartbroken and angry that anyone could hurt this innocent young man.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Monday night where Robert was gunned down.

Investigators are asking anyone with information in the case to call 911.