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DePaul student remembered at vigil

November 2, 2009 8:55:23 PM PST
Students at DePaul University gathered on Monday night in memory of a senior who was gunned down at a Halloween party.Francisco Valencia is remembered as a dedicated student who was very involved on campus.

Valencia was recently named a recipient of a prestigious state honor. He was killed during a Saturday night party in the 1700-hundred block of North Rockwell in the Logan Square neighborhood.

A standout student, rising star -- every positive attribute one could give a 21-year-old college senior was given to Franciso "Frankie" Valencia on Monday night at a moving vigil in his honor. There was so much emotion, the moments of silence were deafening.

Christina and Victor Valencia, Frankie Valencia's sister and brother, leaned on each other on Monday night. Frankie was majoring in political science, and friends say he reminded them very much of a young Barack Obama.

"I asked Frankie a couple of months ago what he was going to do after he graduated and he told me he was going to change the world and I believed him," said Eric Mata, DePaul multicultural student affairs.

"He wanted to be the first Latino President?people would laugh and joke about it but he was really serious," said Cynthia Torres, DePaul junior.

In fact, his student profile on DePaul's Web site says he looks forward to a future in politics. And he recently won the Lincoln Laureate award, a state award given to one senior for outstanding leadership and service.

On Monday night, hundreds filled the DePaul quad lighting candles and shedding tears.

"I am shocked, I am angry, and I am sad," said Ellen Herion, residential advisor.

The shooting took the life of Valencia who may not have been the intended target. It also left 21-year-old Daisy Camacho wounded but in stable condition.

A neighbor tells ABC7 news he's turned over video of the shooting to police. That video was captured by surveillance cameras at his home next to where the shooting occurred in the 1700-block of North Rockwell.

On Monday night, Victor Valencia read a letter his older brother wrote to his sister.

"I'm paraphrasing Gandhi when I say be the change you wish to see," said Valencia.

"He always used to say we are the future, who will you become? How will you be remembered," said Torres.

The search for his killer goes on. Chicago police have yet to make an arrest. But they say they are interviewing several witnesses.

A bank account has been set up for the Valencia family. People who wish to donate can do so at any TCF Bank in the city: In memory of Francisco Valencia, Account Number: 3440310556.


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