Over 1,000 fill Brown Deer H.S. gym to remember Shaun Wild

BROWN DEER -- 24-year-old Shaun Wild - originally from Brown Deer, was killed in a stabbing incident at a bar in Naperville Saturday. Hundreds from both sides of the Wisconsin-Illinois border filled the Brown Deer High School gym Thursday night for Wild's visitation.

Brown Deer High School is Wild's home school, and there weren't enough seats in the bleachers Thursday night for everyone who came to pay their respects to him. Chairs were put on the floor, and still, people were standing in the back of the gym. Wild was remembered by over 1,000 friends, athletes and teachers in the same high school gym where he excelled as a student-athlete.

Looking at Wild's football jerseys Thursday night, the number friends will remember is 24 - the age Wild was when he died. The second-grade teacher was stabbed at a Naperville bar early Saturday morning. Police say he'd stepped in to stop a fight. "The way you passed was fitting of your character. You would risk a life to help a person in need," Wild's childhood babysitter Ellen Gaffrey said of Wild Thursday night. Gaffrey considers herself an honorary member of Wild's family. "We're all drawing strength from one another, and it's an amazing family to be a part of, and we'll miss him dearly, but he'll live on in all of us," Gaffrey said.

Several of Wild's students came from Naperville to Brown Deer for Thursday's visitation. "They're feeling every ounce of love that our communities need to share, and they're right in the middle of it," family friend Molly Rochford said.

Friends say what they'll remember most about Wild isn't sewn on his letterman's jacket. "Shaun had a love of life, and a joyful smile," Gaffrey said.

Wild's friends have set up a scholarship fund in his memory, and they've already raised $8,000! "This is what we can do to make our days a little bit easier, and less challenging, and make sure there's a way for us to positively continue Shaun's story," Rochford said.


Wednesday, the 911 calls from the stabbing incident where Wild was killed were released. The 911 calls reveal a chaotic scene, with many trying to help. There were concerned 911 calls from Frankies Blue Room Saturday night, as people rushed to help Wild after he was stabbed. The calls say people were surrounding Wild and asked for an ambulance.

Two others were injured that night. Police say the man with the knife was 27-year-old Daniel Olaska. He's charged with first-degree murder, and is being held on a $3 million bond.

Illinois police call the crime senseless. "Words were exchanged regarding the defendant drinking beer out of a wine glass, and that may have been what escalated into the verbal disagreement," an Illinois police official said.

David Lucre is Wild's former teacher and football coach. He's one of many in Brown Deer wearing a ribbon to remember him. "I first met Shaun when he was a fourth-grader. A lot of pictures have been floating around. I found a couple pictures, and the memories, you start thinking about all the very positive things Shaun brought to our lives," Lucre said.

A last-minute vigil for Wild Saturday drew more than 100 people to the Brown Deer football field. "He touched so many lives, so I just hope the gym is big enough," Lucre said.

Since Wild's graduation, he wasn't a stranger to the community. He came back to help coach varsity baseball at Brown Deer High School, so the school is expecting a large crowd, including many from out-of-state.