Niolis Collazo, a Waukegan High School volleyball coach, was shot and killed over the weekend.

Who was Niolis Collazo?

Born in 2000, Niolis Collazo was an assistant volleyball coach at Waukegan High School. She was killed on May 6, 2023.

Around 10:45 on Saturday night, Collazo was killed in a shooting along 10th Street and Lewis Avenue in Waukegan. Near a white sedan, investigators discovered numerous shell casings on the pavement. 

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Nobody has yet disclosed the details of the incident, and it is unclear whether anyone has been taken into custody.

Upon learning of Collazo’s passing, the school on Monday released the following email to its neighborhood, which included the following: “It is with great sadness that we report the unexpected passing of Ms. Niolis Collazo. Ms. Collazo worked as an assistant boys volleyball coach at Waukegan High School. She was also a counselor with Youth Guidance’s Working On Womanhood program, where she worked with young ladies at Smith Middle School.”

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Collazo led the boys volleyball team and graduated from high school in 2018, the district’s spokeswoman said. She also supervised and counseled girls at Waukegan Smith Middle School and served as a counselor for the Chicago-based “Working On Womanhood” program.

According to a statement from the school, Monday will see counselors present at Smith Middle School, Washington and Brookside campuses, and Waukegan High School.

She also worked with young females at Smith Middle School as a counselor for Youth Guidance’s Working On Womanhood program, which began in February.

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According to Waukegan police, officers were called to the intersection of 10th Street and Lewis Avenue shortly after 10:35 p.m. due to reports of gunfire.

According to police, when they arrived, they discovered two vehicles that had been shot at. Prior to the shooting, they were traveling in separate ways and had no connection at all. In the first car, which had only been struck once, there was a male victim. The police stated that he was unharmed.

Collazo, 23, of Waukegan was the sole occupant of the Honda Civic in the second car and had been shot, according to police. She passed away at the Vista East Medical Center.

The autopsy at the Lake County Coroner’s Office is underway.

Collazo, according to family members, was anxious to assist young people. She called her sister from North Chicago while traveling home to Waukegan to let her know she had left her house keys behind, according to Mia Carani, her sister.

In addition to Smith Middle School, the Washington and Brookside campuses of Waukegan High School are hosting members of the school district’s Mental Health Response Team on Monday. According to the spokeswoman, Youth Guidance would send more mental health specialists to Smith to help pupils.