Vigil held for teen killed in Highland Park shooting

A vigil was held in Highland Park Tuesday night in remembrance of a 16-year-old boy killed by another teen in a shooting on Sunday.

Omar Diaz, of Highwood, was fatally shot late Sunday morning in the 2300 block of Green Bay Road.

Estiven Sarminento, also 16, was charged as an adult in connection to the killing, facing two counts of first-degree murder.

The vigil comes on the same night as a board meeting discussing the upcoming addition of security devices into Highland Park High School.

“After they show their ID, they’ll be asked to take out their computer and walk through this gate. The settings on this specifically will be to detect weapons, knives and guns,” District 113 Superintendent Dr. Bruce Law said.

Law added that the system will continue at Deerfield High School “very soon.”

At the vigil, family and lifelong friends remembered Diaz, where his mother remembered him as “playful and affectionate.”

Diaz’s close friend, Luis Garcia, pleads for justice while looking back on his longtime friend’s life.

“Hopefully no one has to go through this again. You should be able to live your life like a kid, like a teenager,” Garcia told NBC Chicago.

Police said the suspect, later identified as Sarminento, approached Diaz, who was walking on the sidewalk and the two “engaged in a brief conversation.” The gunman then opened fire and struck Diaz, who later died at the hospital, authorities said.

According to law enforcement, it appeared there was an ongoing dispute between the two teenagers. Sarminento appeared in court on Tuesday and was issued a $5 million bond.

Sarminento is scheduled to appear in court again on Aug. 23.

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