Friends of Robert Robinson Jr., the 17-year-old killed on Beacon Hill, say he was determined to "do something with his life."

Share story

Friends of a 17-year-old boy who was the victim of a fatal drive-by shooting Sunday say he was determined to be a success after graduating from high school.

Robert Robinson Jr., a senior, died after being shot at 15th Avenue South and South Forest Street just before 4 p.m.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified Robinson as the victim and said he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. His death was ruled a homicide.

Witnesses told Seattle police they heard gunfire and saw a blue Honda speeding away from the shooting scene on Sunday afternoon. Robinson was taken to Harborview Medical Center and died shortly after arriving, authorities said.

A neighborhood activist on Sunday told The Seattle Times that police were looking for a Honda with “951” in the license plate. Police, on Monday, said they do not believe the suspect car has those specific numbers in the license plate.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Seattle police spokesman Patrick Michaud said that after the shooting someone in a car stopped and gave the teen CPR until Seattle Fire Department medics arrived.

Police on Monday didn’t release any new information on the slaying.

Standing outside Cleveland High School on Monday morning, Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Stacy Howard said Robinson attended the school the past two years. She said he had previously attended Garfield High School and Interagency Academy.

Howard said the boy had no history of violence at Cleveland.

“It’s a tragic loss for our community,” Howard said.

Linda Sinni, who taught Robinson in his language-arts and life-skills classes, said Robinson “had a heart for social justice” and would often ask deep, introspective questions. He enjoyed a unit where the language-arts class read short stories about race and racism, she said.

“He was just really moved by the unit,” Sinni said. “He asked a lot of questions about why racism existed, and how he could live a life where he is contributing to society. He was a very intense kid, in a beautiful way.”

Monday, the school sent home a letter with students offering tips on how to help teens deal with the tragedy.

“We have counselors at school today and will continue to have counselors and mental-health support available next week for students, staff and families, as needed,” the letter said.

Standing outside a house on 26th Avenue where Robinson used to live with his family, several of his friends on Monday expressed disbelief over his death.

Four girls, all students at Garfield High School, said the 17-year-old was well known and had many friends. They said the school had a moment of silence for him on Monday. Dozens of students gathered near the Beacon Hill Transit Station Monday evening and then walked a few blocks to the scene of the shooting.

A second vigil is planned for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the shooting scene by Standing In The Gap Seattle Youth and Young Adult Outreach Program.

Despite moving to another school, Robinson still came up to the Central District to hang out with his old friends, said LoTajah Coverson, 16.

She described him as a thoughtful and intelligent person who got along with everyone.

“He was an amazing, funny person,” said Joy Bridges,16.

Coverson said Robinson had “plenty of obstacles, but he wanted to go forward, beat the statistics and do something with his life.”

Coverson and Bridges said Robinson did not have any ties to any gangs.

“I just can’t believe he’s gone,” said Bridges.