The fatal stabbing of school teacher Shaun Wild at Frankie’s Blue Room last February left the community asking how this could happen in our own backyard.
“When this happened, it was shocking,” said Gary Ireland, chaplain of NCC’s football team. “When these sudden random acts of violence happen, we scratch our heads and ask why and what can be done?”
In the year after the incident, a string of violent crimes in the downtown area has followed, prompting the police department to increase its present at the bars and the city council to discuss downtown safety.
“Nothing good happens after midnight, that’s what my mama taught me,” said Councilman Robert Fieseler.
“I think it’s become a focal point for people who want to have a lot to drink,” said Councilman Joe McElroy.
“We need to be more proactive in our enforcement,” said Councilman Grant Wehrli.
Naperville resident Daniel Olaska is charged with killing Wild and injuring two others inside Frankie’s Blue Room.
After a number of discovery hearings, he’s still awaiting a trial date.
Meanwhile, wild’s friends are trying to continue celebrating his life as a cherished teammate and second grade teacher.
“He was just a marvelous asset to the team, to the college,” said John Thorne, Head Coach for the NCC football team. “His great smile is something I’ll never forget. He still had that sparkle in his eye whenever he smiled and that’s something I’ll never forget.”
“He was a role model to me for just his work ethic and dedication in the classroom,” Steve Hlavac, Wild’s Former Roommate. “His passion for what he did was truly inspiring.”
“He touched so many people,” said Andrew Warbucler, also a former roommate. “Even today incoming freshman, they didn’t know show but they still understand the stories with the posters and the stories from the education department.”
To this day, wild’s memory lives on in a number of ways. From the number 36 sported on the helmets during football games to a memorial scholarship his family has created.
“Something good always comes out of horrible things [like] the scholarship things that Shaun’s family is doing,” said Thorne. “A lot of people will take a piece of Shaun and move on in the world.”
“Trying to take Shaun’s attitude and the way he lived and apply it to your own life that’s the way I see we can best honor Sean and if we do that, good things will happen,” said Hlavac.
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