NORTH HIGHLANDS, Calif. — School officials identified the Grant Union High School senior as Billy Scott during a graduation ceremony Thursday evening.
While the coroner has not identified the victim, the Twin Rivers Unified School District took a moment at the start of the ceremony to honor the life of Billy Scott. He was one of the high school seniors scheduled to graduate Thursday.
His friend Joshua Hamilton said they were excited for the upcoming commencement.
“You are always going to laugh when he come around. He was there for you when times got hard. Stuff got hard, you know you could call on him,” said Hamilton.
Joshua Hamilton last spoke to his friend hours before the graduating senior was shot in North Highlands Wednesday night. They were talking about the excitement of walking together at graduation.
Now, Hamilton will be remembering the day for a different reason.
“It’s frustrating seeing a life taken so young and just knowing that I know his family is going through it. Because today, they were expecting to see their son graduate and that not being able to happen, it hurts. It hurts a lot,” said Hamilton.
During the ceremony, Scott's family entered into the stadium to accept his diploma on his behalf.
"My little brother, he was such a joy to be around, such a ball of fun, a ball of laughter," his sister told ABC10. "He was so amazing and our family is completely at a loss, but we just want to encourage all the students here today and let them know that if he would have walked or not, little Bill was so excited to see his Pacer family achieve this next milestone."
One member of his family wore a cap and gown and another held a picture of him as they walked across the stage.
A Crisis Intervention Team is at the Grant Union High School campus for support, according to the Twin Rivers Unified School District. Additional security is also in place for the graduation and everyone will be screened before they enter the stadium.
"While the shooting did not take place at one of our facilities or during school hours, it is our continued mission to ensure that all children are safe from violence and the havoc it wreaks in our neighborhoods," Superintendent Steve Martinez wrote.