Vacant to vibrant: How Mama Shu transformed abandoned lots in Highland Park into a place for children

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This is the first in an ongoing series to introduce Planet Detroit readers to residents who bring beauty and community to the vacant lots in their neighborhoods. We begin our series recounting the story of Mama Shu and Avalon Village in Highland Park – perhaps one of the most ambitious and iconic examples of vacant lot activation in the city. Do you have a story we should cover for this series? Please reach out to [email protected] .

I grew up in Detroit in the 80s and 90s, and all I ever heard about Highland Park were negative stories. It was certainly not a place you aspired to move to. 

So imagine my hesitation when I learned my soon-to-be husband purchased our first home in… Highland Park. We ended up not just moving here but staying – going on 22 years now. 

One of the first people I met when I moved to Highland Park in 2000 was Shamayim “Shu” Harris. She lived on our street and welcomed us to the city. We became fast friends from that point on. 

There are very few people that I have personally known with the strength my friend Shu exhibits. 

In 2007, her two-year-old son, her youngest, was tragically killed on our street in a hit-and-run. Soon after, Shu had the vision to build a village on one of the worst blocks in Highland Park: Avalon Street, between Woodward and Second. This block was littered with vacant lots and structures in the aftermath of decades of drugs, prostitution, murders and fires. 

But where others saw tremendous blight, Mama Shu, as she is known, saw a place where she could “build a village in her community and most importantly for the children,” in her words. 

the homework house highland park

Mama Shu doesn’t have the credentials of a community developer or architect, but that didn’t stop her. Before there were donors, cameras, awards and recognition from countless organizations, Mama Shu moved into a home on Avalon Street with no running water, electricity or heat. Little by little, she started to fix the house and ran her ministry out of it. 

Then, with the help of a handful of volunteers, the block started to get cleaned up. The grass and trash on lots she did not own were being taken care of because of her. Like many others in Highland Park and Detroit, she took “ownership” of vacant lots she didn’t own because she did not want to live next to the trash. 

Shu didn’t want to have to move out to the suburbs to live in a well-cared-for community that is clean and beautiful and has nice shops, cafes, a library, a safe space for kids, a place to have events, play sports and enjoy a concert. 

“I shouldn’t have to move to have beautiful things around me,” she said.

So she decided that she would build all of that in Avalon Village.

the homework house highland park

One of the first projects in Avalon Village was a park dedicated to her two-year-old son, Jakobi RA. These were previously vacant lots with dumping and years of neglect. As a matter of fact, after the city had its lights repossessed due to its inability to pay its debt to DTE, Avalon Village installed the first residential solar light in Highland Park. 

The whole city was in the dark and Mama Shu did something to light up her block. The only problem was that she did not own the vacant lot the solar light was installed so she was ticketed. It’s a problem many local “lot activators” face – by doing good on land they don’t own, land that is a blight and danger to the community, they risk investing time and resources and even fines.

Shu owns that lot and many more now – approximately 40 parcels both vacant and with structures. She has plans for all of them. Last year, five more solar lights with WIFI were installed in Avalon Village in partnership with the nonprofit energy advocacy group Soulardarity – this time on lots that she already owns. When the power goes out – as it often does – that block has lights. Highland Park offers a model for city-wide community solar.

For the past decade, Jakobi RA Park has been a place for the community to enjoy – from birthday celebrations, weddings, concerts, movie nights, music camp, festivals, marketplace, community meetings, and community service initiatives. It now features a fire pit with seating to enjoy during these upcoming chilly fall days and nights. 

Adjacent to this park space is a home that was once on the demolition list. You wouldn’t believe that if you saw it today. After five years of transformation, The Homework House will officially open on Sept. 24. 

the homework house highland park

This celebration is bittersweet because there is one person who was instrumental in the village who is now an ancestor: Mama Shu’s 23-year-old son, Chinyelu, who was tragically killed in January of 2021 in Avalon Village – a collective loss to our community. A memorial garden in his name on one of the vacant lots in the village commemorates him. 

This Saturday at 3 p.m . Avalon Village will host a community open house in honor of the grand opening of The Homework House. It will also be a time to acknowledge all that Chinyelu did to contribute to the building of Avalon Village.

The Homework House is a safe haven for children in the heart of Avalon Village. It took five years to complete this project that will be a place for the children of the community to gather after school to have a warm meal, get help with their homework, learn life skills and more. 

The Homework House has all of the amenities of a home plus a library and music studio. There are several showers and children can also wash & dry their clothes if they are unable to do so at home. Every community needs a place like this. Remember, this house was supposed to be demolished and will now be a safe place for everyone to enjoy. 

On the other side of the Homework House is a recently installed basketball court with images of Mama Shu’s three sons that are all ancestors (one by marriage). Another vacant lot now houses a repurposed shipping container that will be an off-the-grid STEM lab once the funds for the inside equipment and furniture are raised. 

There is already a shipping container on another previously vacant lot that has been turned into a shop called the Goddess Marketplace, selling unique items and allowing women an opportunity to launch their business ideas. Both shipping containers have beautiful murals done by local artists and are powered by solar panels.

There is an annual weekend camp on several vacant lots so that children who wouldn’t normally get this experience can experience camping outside. It’s called Hood Camp: Urban Survival for Today’s Youth. The children who come learn about a range of topics and also do a community service activity. There are also several community garden spaces. On the remaining vacant lots, there will be a tennis court, playground, greenhouse, cafe, and more.

One thing that Mama Shu always does is thank everyone who had a hand in helping bring her vision to reality. This is not a one-person show. There have been countless people who have donated their time, money, and resources over the years. 

The majority of vacant lots in Detroit and Highland Park have areas for dumping, trash, and overgrown grass. These severely neglected neighborhood eyesores need visionary residents like Shu who are willing to do the unthinkable and invest their time and assets, often risking losing that investment or being fined,  to see past their blight and envision something better, something different, something beautiful.

This is one example of many that I will share in the coming weeks and months of how vacant lots are being repurposed into useful community gathering spaces and more. They are not just for community gardens. Let your imagination soar.

the homework house highland park

Angela Lugo-Thomas

Angela Lugo-Thomas, also known as Detroit Boricua, has a Puerto Rican heart with Detroit soul. She lives in Highland Park with her family and enjoys leading walking groups, gardening, dancing, photography, organizing community events, and is a member of several local groups and community organizations. Prior to joining Keep Growing Detroit as Garden Development Manager in November 2023, she was Planet Detroit’s Community Engagement Reporter where she published award-winning stories on grassroots leadership and community resiliency.

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by Angela Lugo-Thomas, Planet Detroit September 22, 2022

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Highland Park activist 'Mama Shu' up for $100K in 2023 CNN Hero of the Year award

the homework house highland park

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (FOX 2) - After several hardships and years of giving back to her community, a Highland Park activist has been named one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes .

Shamayim Harris, better known as Mama Shu, is the founder and CEO of Avalon Village and The Homework House in Highland Park.

She said receiving this recognition makes her feel "totally elated," and honored for an opportunity to show more people "how you can actually transform blight to beauty."

After the tragic hit-and-run death of her 2-year-old son Jakobi in 2007, Mama Shu took action to transform her struggling neighborhood. Purchasing 45 surrounding lots of land, she created The Avalon Village – a sustainable eco-village that provides its residents with resources, youth programming, gardens, small business support, activities and more. 

Highland Park activist Mama Shu among 2023 Top 10 CNN Heroes

To help Mama Shu secure an additional $100,000 for Avalon Village in Highland Park, vote for her to win the 2023 CNN Hero of the Year.

In 2021, tragedy struck again. Mama Shu's 23-year-old son , Chinyelu Humphrey, was shot and killed in front of their home. Despite her providing an eyewitness account, no arrests have been made in connection with the murder.

"Working on Avalon Village has been really healing," Mama Shu said. "When Chinyelu got killed I had considered – like you know, what I’m just so tired of this. …I just remembered how the vision years and years ago was set on my heart."

Now, she needs the public's vote to win the 2023 CNN Hero of the Year award and secure an additional $100,000 for her community. 

The prize money would aid Avalon Village in expanding the activities section of The Homework House. Originally scheduled for demolition, this house was transformed by Mama Shu and volunteers into a safe place for children to do their homework after school.

Highland Park activist Mama Shu, volunteers transform blighted house into homework space for kids

Highland Park activist Mama Shu, volunteers transform blighted house into homework space for kids

"Everybody’s rooting for us. Everybody is voting and voting and voting," Mama Shu said. "They want us to win the $100,000 prize so that I can add to my work."

To vote for Mama Shu and Avalon Village, click here . You can vote every day through Dec. 5.

To further support the community, a GoFundMe account has been organized by the Avalon Village team.

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Highland Park's 'Mama Shu' is in the running for the 2023 CNN Hero of the Year award

A Highland Park community leader on a mission to turn "blight to beauty" in her city was named one of CNN's Top 10 Heroes and is in the running for the network's 2023 Hero of the Year award and $100,000 to support her work.

Shamayim "Mama Shu" Harris is the founder and CEO of Avalon Village, a nonprofit rejuvenating a block in Highland Park by creating spaces and offering support for the community. She is among a group of honorees providing scholarships and mentorship for young adults with incarcerated parents, restoring coral reefs in the Florida Keys and connecting migrant and refugee children in shelters with educational resources.

Through Avalon Village, the 58-year-old Harris is on a mission to transform vacant and abandoned lots and structures into a sustainable community on Avalon Street, between Woodward and Second avenues. Avalon Village also includes a  Homework House  for students, a marketplace for women entrepreneurs, a basketball court and a community garden . Avalon Village came about after the death of her 2-year old son, Jakobi RA Harris, in a hit and run in 2007. She founded the organization the year after and Avalon Village officially became a nonprofit in 2016.

"I needed to just basically change grief into glory, pain into power. I just tried to transform it and make it into something bearable and something beautiful," Harris told CNN .

Highland Park is a municipality located  within Detroit's city limits with a population of more than 8,600 . The city has gone through  tumultuous times , as properties emptied and streetlights dimmed. Avalon Village grew from about four lots, Harris said , to 45. It's a space for children to get tutoring in a house that feels like home and where women can run their businesses and network. Harris plans to grow the village with a cafe, greenhouse, restaurant, laundromat and market-rate housing.

AVALON VILLAGE: Highland Park's 'Mama Shu' opens Homework House after 6 years of development

"I would love to see all four blocks of Avalon look beautiful," she said in the CNN video. "I would love for it to be infectious. I would love for it to spread throughout the whole city. I remember every inch of how this whole block used to look. Folks hated to come over here, now they're like, 'Woah, what's going on over there?'"

For her work, Harris is one of this year's Top 10 CNN Heroes — which recognizes everyday people improving the lives of others in extraordinary ways — and will receive a $10,000 prize, according to the network. People can vote to decide who will become the 2023 CNN Hero of the Year and get another $100,000 for their efforts.

Harris said she was elated to learn that she was among the top honorees . The exposure, she said, is an opportunity for people around the world to know that it's possible to revive neighborhoods in disrepair.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to inspire other folks that work in their neighborhoods and other grassroots organizations that are trying to make their spaces better," Harris said Thursday.

The $10,000 grant will help expand activities at the Homework House. If Avalon Village receives the additional $100,000 award, the funds would allow the nonprofit to complete an activities area, including a new playground, tennis court and fencing for a basketball court, Harris said.

"It would be just like hitting the lottery and just being able to get a little heads up on some of the things that we would love to have in our community," she said.

Go to CNNHeroes.com to learn more about the honorees, cast a vote or make donations, via GoFundMe. People can vote up to 10 times a day through Tuesday, Dec. 5. The votes can be for one nominee or divided among others.

CNN's Anderson Cooper will announce this year's CNN Hero of the Year on Sunday, Dec. 10, starting at 8 p.m.

Contact Nushrat Rahman: [email protected]; 313-348-7558. Follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter:  @NushratR .

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Avalon Village's Mission is to create a safe, nurturing, uplifting, and healing space within the City of Highland Park MI. We're doing this by converting vacant and blighted land into a valuable urban resource and providing basic living components for a quality, comfortable, and prosperous life. In addition, we provide basic services to the community to enhance traditional municipal or government services that have been reduced, eliminated or have become unaffordable.

Avalon Village is a proud partner of the

Highland Park Community Crisis Coalition- Emergency Hub.

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2023 CNN Hero Top 10 finalist Shamayim ‘Mama Shu’ Harris is the founder and CEO of Avalon Village in Highland Park, MI. She is a mother, a community activist, and a former school administrator, who served Detroit schools for 27+ years. Her dream of building this urban oasis was manifested after the tragic loss of her son, Jakobi RA, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2007 at the age of two.

In 2021, the unthinkable happened. She lost another child when her 23-year-old son Chinyelu was murdered on January 26.

Rather than fall into despair, Shu chose to heal and honor the memory of her sons by transforming "Blight to Beauty"™ and creating something wonderful for the people of Highland Park. She assembled a team of engineers, futurists, artists, urban farmers, volunteers, and donors from around the world who are helping to build Avalon Village, a sustainable eco-village on Avalon Street between Woodward Avenue and Second. The village currently owns 40+ parcels of land and 5 houses with plans to acquire more property as the organization grows.

These vacant, blighted lots and structures are being brought back to life as the Homework House (an after-school learning and activity center for neighborhood children), the Goddess Marketplace (an economic development initiative for women entrepreneurs), the Healing House (a center for holistic healing), a healthy cafe, activity courts, greenhouses, a micro-library and more.

This unique community-building project has received local, national, and international media attention on The Ellen Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, the Today Show, People Magazine, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, and many other publications in Detroit and beyond. Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres even gifted Mama Shu with a prefabricated house which now serves as The Village Hall, the headquarters of Avalon Village.  

Shu served as the first female chaplain with the Highland Park Police Department. She was the chairwoman of the Highland Park Charter Commission, charged with helping shape the city’s future. In addition, she served as Vice President of the Highland Park Housing Commission, president of the Highland Park Board of Education, and as an appointed member of The Michigan Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity, appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She has received the Let Freedom Ring Award and numerous other local and national awards for her work.

Shu has dedicated her life to serving the people (especially children and elders) in her community, demonstrating that one person truly can make a difference, even against seemingly impossible odds, and inspiring others to live without fear and follow their dreams. Learn more at theavalonvillage.org.

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Hover over each picture to learn more about the places of Avalon Village

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This park is dedicated to Jakobi RA, Mama Shu's youngest son who was killed on September 23, 2007 by a hit-and-run driver. This park is the gathering place for the community for private and community events, music festivals, concerts, workshops, or event a daytime picnic with your family. 

Jakobi RA Park

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The Homework House is the tutoring center in the heart of The Village. This space is dedicated to giving the children of the community a place to come to before and after school to eat, do their homework, participate in after-school activities, and more.

The Homework House

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Dedicated to Chinyelu Humphrey, Mama Shu's son who was killed on January 26, 2021, this garden and shrine is a place to sit and find peace. The beautiful rows of flowers brighten up the village with their bold array of colors. Come sit in the gazebo and spend some time taking in the beauty of The Village.

The Invincible Gardens

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Donated by Ellen DeGeneres and Cacoon 9, The Village Hall is the place to do business in The Village. Like all cities, The Village Hall acts as the municipal hub "City Hall" for the important work Avalon Village conducts.

The Village Hall

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The first addition to The Avalon Village Athletic Department, My 3 Sunz Basketball Court is a place where the community can come together to exercise, play ball, have tournaments, or just let off some steam. The court is dedicated to Mama Shu's 3 Sunz who are now ancestors: Jakobi RA, Pili (Bonus Sun), and Chinyelu.

My 3 Sunz Basketball Court

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The Goddess Marketplace incubates, supports, and nurtures a collective of women-owned businesses promoting self-sufficiency while increasing wealth and prosperity in the community.

The Goddess Marketplace

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An addition to The Homework House, The Imhotep STEAM Lab will help foster innovative thinking in the children of our community. They will get to explore and learn about SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ART, and MATH in a recycled shipping container that has been transformed into an eco-friendly, sustainable building.

The Imhotep STEAM Lab

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the homework house highland park

Meet the candidates of Michigan's 7th House District

Three Democrats and two Republicans will appear on the Aug. 6 primary ballot for an open seat in the Michigan House's 7th District in Wayne County.

After House Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash, D-Hamtramck, withdrew from the race, three political newcomers are vying for the open spot in the Democratic primary in a district that includes Hamtramck, Highland Park and parts of the east side of Detroit.

On the Democratic side, Ernest Little, Tonya Meyers Phillips and Abraham Shaw are running in the primary. Barry Altman and Shelby Wininger are the two Republican candidates. Because the area is heavily Democratic, the winner of the Democratic primary is favored to be the next state representative from the 7th District next year.

The Democratic candidates

Ernest Little, 71, is a real estate agent, former housing inspector for Detroit and past precinct delegate. He has held positions in many local organizations, including the president of the Third Precinct Police Community Council, vice president of M.O.O.R.E Community council, member of Hamtramck Drug-Free Coalition and a member of the Detroit Empowerment Zone Coordinating Council.

Little advocates for drug treatment reform, crime prevention, funding for teachers and school vouchers, investments into mental health treatments, and representation for the aging population.

Little said he lives in an area where drug addiction is a pressing issue. As a state representative, the lifelong Detroiter said he would allocate more funding to drug addiction prevention programs.

“Prevention is a lot better than trying to get someone into a methadone program," Little said. "We do not really react to the drug problem until a person is thrown out on drugs. We have to educate earlier and get kids to the point where they actually don’t want to do drugs.”

Little graduated from Northwestern High School and Wayne State University before going to dental school at Howard University, and switched to real estate later in life. Little said his self-funded campaign and experience in the community makes him the most qualified candidate in the race.

"I'm a person who is well rounded in politics, and I know that is no easy thing," Little said. "That is what makes me well qualified."

Little ran unsuccessfully for a state representative in 2022, 2018 and 2012, but said he hopes those experiences will increase his name recognition for the upcoming primary.

“With the backing of the organizations and word getting out that I am a candidate, people will give me a second look, and they will say, 'We gotta make up our minds. Do we want someone from the community or someone else?'” Little said.

Attorney Tonya Myers Phillips , 47, is running for the House seat because she believes taxpayer money should be spent on public services.

“We need to have more of an integrated community benefit policy tied to economic development,” Phillips said.

Phillips, who is a first time candidate, helped found the Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition, an organization that represents low-income tenants facing eviction in court. In 2022, Phillips helped to pass the Detroit Right to Counsel Ordinance, which provides a fair trial and free representation to all of these individuals in the 36th District Court. From 2010-2012, she served as a member of the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. Phillips also worked with an organization, Community Benefits Resources, to create agreements between developers and businesses which aim to create more equitable outcomes in communities.

"As a state representative, my experience will help me with working with community members and community organizers, bringing back an equity center lens for the conversation, and really honing in on various laws and policies that can benefit all of Michigan, especially the citizens of District 7," Phillips said.

Phillips said if she is elected, she would work to increase funding for public services such as subsidized housing development projects and small business tax credits.

“We need to structure how we intent to meet the needs of the average income in our neighborhood, and I believe we need to invest in more social housing that leads to permanent affordability, like community land trust or other community owned structures,” Phillips said.

Phillips said she will advocate for polluter-pay legislation that prevents large companies from emitting air pollutants, such as the Jeep plant on Detroit's east side. She said the current pollution fine rates are not enough to stop the companies from releasing toxins into the air.

“The fines are being issued, which is a good thing, but if they are at the amount where the corporation can just include that in the cost of doing business, it is not stopping the behavior,” Phillips said. "We need to increase those financial penalties."

Phillips said her track record of community service and successful initiatives distinguishes her as a House candidate.

"Nobody knows what the future holds, but I know that I will work really hard to pass these kind of policies that really center on the basic needs of people, looking at the holistic needs, and what we need to make nice communities for everybody," Phillips said.

This primary marks the fourth time mechanic Abraham Shaw , 57, has run for a state House seat, although he has yet to win an election. The car repairman turned to politics after failing to see his representatives stand up against what he saw as harmful educational policies.

Shaw's legislative priorities include supporting teachers, polluter-pay legislation and a bill that would require fathers listed on a birth certificate to be DNA-tested for parentage, which he said would solve family law disputes.

Although his expertise is in cars, Shaw said his profession makes him an expert in communicating issues with people, which he sees as an asset to the role of a legislator.

“Communication is the biggest part of the mechanic job," Shaw said. "You got to be a good representative. You have to explain your ideas to people in a simple way."

Shaw vowed that his loyalty will always remain with the citizens of Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.

“If I elected, I won’t disappear like other candidates," Shaw said. "I plan on staying involved in the community.”

The Republican candidates

A general contractor, pastor and licensed counselor, Barry Altman, wants to remove requirements and increase compensation for individuals in the mental and spiritual counseling professions if he's elected state representative.

"I would like to establish a beginning on that pathway for somebody who works for the church or somebody who is recognizing the church to be able to provide spiritual direction and actually be compensated in it," Altman said.

Altman said the biggest issue in politics today is untrustworthy politicians. He aims to combat this as a state representative through honestly and faith.

"Few people recognize that the real problem we have is a problem with truth. Everybody who knows me knows I am authentic, and they know that I am credible," Altman said.

Republican hopeful Shelby Wininger appeared to have no campaign website and did not return messages seeking comment.

[email protected]

Watch CBS News

Law enforcement swarm home of Trump rally shooter, Thomas Matthew Crooks, in Bethel Park

By Meghan Schiller , Patrick Damp

Updated on: July 14, 2024 / 10:32 AM EDT / CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Law enforcement swarmed a Bethel Park home believed to be connected to the shooter in the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump . 

Public records show the home, located on Milford Drive in Bethel Park, is that of 20-year-old Thomas Crooks, who federal law enforcement officials identified as the shooter who opened fire at the rally in Butler on Saturday evening.

We are out here in Bethel Park near the home of the gunman, 20 year old Thomas Matthew Crooks. We are live with new details that came in while you were sleeping starting at 6:30 on @KDKA pic.twitter.com/nrwRFNKXce — MEGHAN SCHILLER (@MeghanKDKA) July 14, 2024

The road to the home was shut down on Sunday and neighbors have been evacuated.

One neighbor, who lives only a few homes down the road from the gunman, said police evacuated from her home in the middle of the night. She was told noon on Sunday was the earliest she could be allowed back into her home.

#BREAKING : Two of my contacts in Bethel Park just sent me two recent yearbook photos of the gunman, Thomas Crooks. We are LIVE outside the street where he lived, as law enforcement swarms his neighborhood after evacuating those who live nearby. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/lFi1OtW5Yu — MEGHAN SCHILLER (@MeghanKDKA) July 14, 2024

"They asked us to leave our house. They told us it was a state of emergency, no warning, just a knock on the door in the middle of the night," Kelly Little said. "They told us we could come back in a couple of hours, likely." 

Bethel Park Police said there is a bomb investigation surrounding Crooks's home. 

Bethel Park School District confirms Crooks was a 2022 graduate

In a statement provided to KDKA from Bethel Park School District, they said that Crooks was a 2022 graduate and pledged to work with law enforcement as the investigation continues. 

Their full statement is below. 

Bethel Park School district can confirm that the alleged shooter in the July 13, 2024, assassination attempt on former President Donald J. Trump is a graduate of Bethel Park High School. Thomas Matthew Crooks graduated from Bethel Park High with the Class of 2022.  The school district wishes to express its sincere wishes for a speedy and full recovery for Mr. Trump and for those in attendance at the Saturday event who may have been physically harmed or emotionally impacted by these tragic events. We offer special condolences to the family of at least one attendee who was killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Our school district will cooperate fully with the active law enforcement investigation surrounding this case, and as such, we are limited in what we can publicly disclose.  Moving forward, we will work closely with law enforcement investigators and share information as appropriate with respect to school district policies, the active investigation, and law enforcement protocols.

Gunman identified, killed by Secret Service

The gunman, Crooks, who tried to assassinate the former president was a registered Republican but previously made a $15 donation to a Democratic-aligned group, according to public records. 

Crooks opened fire with an AR-style rifle from about 400 feet away from the rally stage with video showing his position on a roof outside of the security perimeter. 

One attendee said he saw the suspect. 

"We noticed the guy crawling, bear-crawling, up the roof of the building beside us," he said. "We're standing there, we're pointing at the guy crawling up the roof. He had a rifle, we could clearly see him with a rifle." 

A Secret Service sniper shot and killed Crooks. 

At this time, the FBI Pittsburgh has not yet identified or released a motive. 

This is a developing story, stay with CBS Pittsburgh for the latest.  

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Meghan Schiller - KDKA

Meghan Schiller is an Emmy-nominated journalist who joined KDKA in October 2017. She's thrilled to be back in her hometown and reporting at the station she grew up watching.

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4 p.m. - Exploring Homework House in Highland Park

New residents Michael and Jessi share how Homework House has helped with their children and what they love about the neighborhood. | We're spending 24 hours in Highland Park on June 3, 2024, going live every hour with a story about a local family, local initiatives, or local issues that need addressing. Follow along with us all day on ClickOnDetroit.com, on Local 4 News, and our Local 4+ streaming app.

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