PITTSBURGH — This week marks 10 months since the death of 15-year-old Marquis Cambell at Oliver Citywide Academy.
His death was the first high-profile killing of a teenager during Mayor Ed Gainey’s administration.
It led to the first and only time the mayor and superintendent held a joint news conference to comfort the city’s parents and teachers.
For the first time, Campbell’s family is speaking out about their loss and their push for answers. They would only talk if we kept their faces hidden for their safety.
“Do I think there are going to be more kids that die? Absolutely,” a family member said.
Violence has not only taken over the Pittsburgh headlines, but the lives of families who live in the city.
“I hate to relive that day because I wish I could unsee what I saw. I definitely wish I could unsee it all. I don’t care what my nephew did in life, he didn’t deserve to die like that,” said a family member.
Campbell’s aunt doesn’t have words to describe the trauma. Her nephew was gunned down at the age of 15 sitting in his school van outside his school and in front of others, yet his killers are still out walking the streets.
“We are still waiting just like everyone else is waiting and it’s a sad situation,” said Campbell’s aunt.
After 10 months, his family still has no answers.
“So, we continue to work that case diligently, and I do hope in the near future we have something on that; but sometimes it’s beyond our control,” said Commander Richard Ford of the Pittsburgh Police.
The family doesn’t want this case to get lost in the pile of high-profile cases that continue to stack up, like the Easter morning shooting. Not only did they lose Marquis, but also another young nephew, Hassan Shackelford.
Just 18 years old, Shackelford was shot and killed walking home from Sto-Rox High School one year ago. His killing is also still unsolved.
“I fear for everybody’s son, I do. We send our kids to school and some of these kids aren’t coming home. How is that possible, how?,” said a family member.
In Marquis’s case, his aunt told Channel 11 the family feared for his safety and his mom even requested he continue remote learning.
She said the school district denied the request and had to return to Oliver Citywide the day of his murder.
In response to that allegation, Pittsburgh Public Schools provided us with a statement:
“The Superintendent does not make decisions on the individual education plan of any student. As this is a matter involving a student, the District does not comment on student matters,” said PPS spokesperson Ebony Pugh.
Families and teachers across the district are paying more attention to student plans following the sexual attack of a teacher at the same school this fall.
As Channel 11 reported, the student now charged in the attack had an IEP that listed behaviors of concern as “threatening peers and adults, sexually inappropriate behaviors and disrupting the classroom.”
To see more violence at Oliver is tough for Marquis’ family, as they hoped his death would lead to change.
“You think you send your kid to school, and they are going to be protected, but even after in their death, the school didn’t make (any) changes. People are still getting hurt, teachers, students,” said the family member.
Channel 11 has questioned and checked in with police on this case for months now. In July, police said they would have an arrest this year.
Ford said his feelings have not changed; he still believes that will happen before the end of the year.
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