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'He was a quiet, nice kid': Killing of Angel Lopez Jr. stuns many in Davenport

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Angel Lopez Jr.

Angel Lopez Jr. was shot and killed Sunday in Rock Island

The 17-year-old kid shot and killed Sunday in Rock Island was a boxer christened with the first name Angel.

Angel Lopez Jr. loved being in the ring. He loved his family and a dog named Zeus. His coworkers thought of him as family. A student at Davenport Central High School, he had a life of limitless possibilities ahead of him.

His love and inside-the-ring dreams ended Sunday evening in the 1300 block of 3rd Avenue in Rock Island. Police officers found Angel there sometime around 8 p.m., in his beloved white Camaro, with a gunshot wound to his chest. Lopez Jr. was taken by ambulance to UnityPoint Health-Trinity Hospital in Rock Island.

He died a little later, leaving behind his parents, Arcelia and Angel Lopez Sr., and four brothers - Nick, Jose, Gael, and Juan.

"An absolute shock wave of trauma went through our staff and students," Davenport Community School District Superintendent TJ Schneckloth said Tuesday. "We heard the news in a staff meeting and we all had to stop.

"Angel was a part of our school and our community. He will be missed."

Schneckloth stressed the district's crisis response teams have been dispatched at Davenport Central and throughout the schools to assist students dealing with the grief and shock that follows tragedies like the killing of Angel.

"We want to help our students and the greater community heal," Schneckloth said. "We notified our community at the appropriate time - following the guidelines set up by police and other officials. We don't ever want to do anything to make things worse for the people who loved Angel."

Angel's family members declined to comment for the story, but relatives established a GoFundMe page to help pay for burial costs. You can find that page at: https://gf.me/v/c/dqfv/funeral-costs-for-angel-lopez-jr

A few friends offered words of remembrance and support on that page. A coworker wrote: "Thank you for being such and great coworker and friend. Everyone at Chipotle will miss you dearly. You truly were family to us all."

Another person simply wrote: "Angel was so kind, and an amazing boxer."

Brandon Bea is one of Angel's coaches at Beasly's Downtown Boxing Club in Davenport and was one of Angel's coaches. He backed up the words on the boxer's GoFundMe page.

"Angel had real potential," Bea said. "He worked with Leonard Overstreet and Raymond Rodriguez quite a bit. Angel boxed here for seven years. He just won a fight a few weeks back.

"He was quiet, nice kid who listened to his coaches and was very much a part of our team. Truthfully, truthfully, I've never heard Angel yell at anyone or start anything. He was a good kid. A really good kid."

Bea said Angel was "like a really good role model."

"We're talking about a kid who worked a job every Sunday. He never took a day off," Bea said as he chuckled at the memory. "He worked, went to school and worked hard here at the club. He ran the Centennial Bridge.

"Angel's what you want a kid to be - hard working, willing to listen, a good teammate. I will never understand what happened."

Angel is the seventh person in Rock Island to die in a shooting this year.

In an email, Rock Island County State's Attorney Dora Villarreal said " … we are working tirelessly to prosecute all violent offenders, and are prioritizing those involved with homicides, robberies and illegal possession of weapons."

Villarreal stressed time and resources will be committed to finding and prosecuting all gun crimes, including the murder of Angel.

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