Former Lakewood High football player fatally shot in drive-by

Khalil Saleem, a 17-year-old scholar and former member of the Lakewood Excessive soccer staff, died Saturday after being shot in a drive-by at Silverado Park in Lengthy Seashore.

In keeping with the Lengthy Seashore Police Division, Saleem and two different unidentified males had been on the basketball courts at Silverado Park when an SUV drove previous and fired pictures, hitting Saleem within the higher physique and leaving him in important situation. He died at a close-by hospital, police mentioned.

Lakewood coach Justin Utupo mentioned he first realized the information from teammates posting footage of the highschool senior, then learn studies of the taking pictures.

“I used to be simply hoping and praying that that wasn’t Khalil,” Utupo mentioned.

A staff mother was with Saleem’s household within the hospital and relayed his demise, the coach mentioned.

Saleem transferred from Rancho Verde Excessive in Moreno Valley after his sophomore yr and by no means really performed a down for Lakewood, Utupo mentioned. As a junior he was held out all the season due to CIF guidelines and as a senior he selected to give attention to making up credit with the intention to graduate.

However that junior season, Saleem nonetheless was at observe each day, Utupo remembered. Nonetheless a part of the staff. Not making any excuses as a result of he wasn’t taking part in.

“That wasn’t going to cease him from serving to his teammates grow to be higher on the soccer subject … he simply wished to play so badly,” Utupo mentioned. “And since he couldn’t, he simply wished his teammates to succeed.”

The motive for the taking pictures nonetheless was unknown Sunday afternoon. The 2 different males with Saleem had been hit and brought to the hospital; one was launched and the opposite was in secure situation, in accordance with police.

Lakewood will meet Monday as a staff for a prayer to recollect Saleem.

“In the event you had been lucky sufficient to get to know Khalil, you’d agree that he was a fantastic child and he was on his technique to doing a little nice issues,” Utupo mentioned.