Community holds memorial for Agee


NIU students, family and friends of Steven Agee gather in November 2012 for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Agee. Agee, a student at NIU, died in an off-campus shooting on Nov. 23, 2011.

By Gino Hernaiz

Larry Bolles told people at the memorial for Steven Agee II not to cry.

The former director of Community Standards and Student Conduct said Agee would have wanted all of the attendees to smile. The memorial, held Monday at the corner of Edgebrook Drive and Normal Road, was held in remembrance of the impact Agee left on the community and university.

Agee was a sociology major who was preparing to graduate at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. He was fatally shot on Nov. 23, 2011, at a party in the 800 block of Edgebrook Drive. Chaz Thrailkill was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm in relation to Agee’s death.

Student Trustee Elliot Echols had been Agee’s friend for 20 years. Echols said his life has changed a lot since he learned about Agee’s death.

“One moment we were having a conversation in the kitchen, the next minute, he is gone,” Echols said. “Life is not about us. I now feel the motivation to be the light to change the world.”

Echols said people should not take their lives for granted.

Student Association (SA) Senator James Zanayed said he is working to increase awareness of the bystander effect. He said he is working with Health Enhancement to empower students to be able to speak up and act when a bad situation occurs.

“If we follow these values, and become responsible bystanders, we will not be standing here again,” Zanayed said.

Zanayed said Agee worked in the SA and his work there meant he cared about the Huskie community.

Agee’s former roommate, Alexander Buckles, said Agee was a great person.

“I can only think of fire when I see him because he was always full of raw energy,” Buckles said.

Agee’s mother Kimberly was the last person to speak at the memorial. She said her son was loving and caring. Steven Agee put a lot of energy and effort into everything he did, she said. Kimberly Agee challenged the people at the memorial to change things.

“Thug life is not what it is about,” Kimberly Agee said. “You have to make a difference.”

The memorial ended with people holding hands while Kimberly Agee prayed.