On Monday night, several Hinsdale South students who live at the Hinsdale Lake Terrace apartment complex in unincorporated Willowbrook watched as a friend and former classmate was gunned downed on the grounds of the apartment community off Route 83.
READ: '18-Year-Old Shot and Killed in Unincorporated Willowbrook.'
When something like this happens, people want to know who the victim was and why. As journalists, our job is to find as many answers as we can to the questions out there and report facts that will help keep the public informed. But when a son, friend and fellow classmate is taken in a senseless tragedy, the question of why could never be answered by a journalist. I don't think it's a question anyone can answer.
But we can try to answer the question of who, by asking the people who knew him. In these circumstances, the information you give us is the only information we can report. Without your memories and stories, we are limited to information that is a matter of public record, such as court documents.
My colleague Joe O'Donnell and I have received some criticism for including the public record of Holmes' upcoming court dates in DuPage County in the coverage of his shooting.
Read comments on: '18-Year-Old Shot and Killed in Unincorporated Willowbrook.'
Although we are required to report such information, it is only one piece of the puzzle that would offer a picture of the total human being. It is not the whole picture. The day after he was shot, I walked the grounds of Hinsdale Lake Terrace where Joshua Holmes lived. I asked those who knew him to share their memories.
Understandably, most people refused. They don't know me. They are angry, and they are grieving. Some are scared. I understand and respect that.
READ: Retaliation Over Hinsdale South Grad's Shooting a Concern for Apartment Community'
It is my hope that the people who knew Joshua Holmes will be willing to share the pieces of him that they remember, so we can present a more complete picture to the public of who he was.
I hope that the people who knew and cared about him will not hold back the positive pieces of the picture, because we are all more than just one piece of the puzzle that makes up our lives.
The photos in this gallery were supplied by two people who knew Joshua Holmes through Hinsdale South Young Life. They show a side of him that has not been seen in the media so far. This is a side of him that would not have been seen in the media, had they not agreed to share these photos with us.
Who was Joshua Holmes? We don't have enough pieces of information to answer that. We may never have enough pieces, but maybe you can help fill in some of the blanks. If you want to share your memories or a story about something you did together, click "add a comment" below to share your piece of the picture.
If you have a photo of Josh that you can share, click "upload photos and videos" at the top left of this article, and let us know in the caption what's going on in the picture.
Is there something you want to tell or ask me that you don't feel comfortable putting in the comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.