Vigil held for 23-year-old Chicago student slain in Missouri

CHICAGO — A vigil was held Monday for a former Chicago student who was gunned down in Missouri where he was going to college.

Friends and family gathered at Perspectives Math and Science Academy in Bronzeville to celebrate the life of D’Angelo Britton-Bland, but also to ask for answers. A balloon launch, vigil and fundraiser were held in his memory.

Britton-Bland, 23, was a senior at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., and student body president at the university. He was shot in the chest while getting out of the car on Wednesday in Jefferson City.

His sisters said their brother was an amazing person. He was an openly gay man from Chicago who wanted to come back to his high school alma matter and teach special education.

“I just see his smiling face, that beautiful smile that he always had,” Saint Turner, Perspectives Academy, said. “And no matter what, if you said, ‘D’Angelo, come help me with this,’ he’d jump right in and he does it. He never, ever complained about doing anything to help anybody.”

They said so far they have not been able to get answers from the Jefferson City Police Department and the circumstances surrounding their brother’s death, other than to be told that he was getting out of the car with friends when multiple shots rang out and he was shot in the chest. He was the only one who got hit.

The police department said it’s an open investigation, but so far, they have no persons of interest.

They said they don't believe the shooting was a hate crime, because they don't believe Britton-Bland was the intended target.

The money raised at Monday's fundraiser will be used to help offset the cost of his funeral.

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