Katrina Castelow waited inside her car as her son met with a grief counselor Thursday after learning one of his best friends died in an accident on campus Wednesday afternoon.
"He was over holidays. They are really good friends, went to school together for a long time so it was pretty sad," Castelow said.
Ypsilanti police officers responded around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to a report that a boy had fallen at Washtenaw International Middle Academy.
Fourteen-year-old Xavier Small was pronounced dead at the scene. The boy's mother told 7 Action News Thursday that her son enjoyed climbing and the sport of Parkour, but she said it’s unclear if that’s what he was doing when he fell.
News of the boy's death came as a shock to the family's next-door neighbor.
"He told me he wanted to be a forensic investigator," Leslie Riley said, adding, "I was looking forward to him doing that.”
Family members are waiting to view the boy's body.
Xavier Small's mother, Claudia Small, released the following statement to 7 Action News:
Xavier Kierdan Dean Small was active in football and was looking forward to training with YCS Grizzlies this year. He had a pet snake named Loki despite the fact that I am petrified of mice. He bought it with money he earned from working U of M football games. He planned to participate in the Young Wolverines program to gain the free tuition to pay for U of M. He was an avid reader and had in the past set records for Accelerated Reader program at Holmes Elemetary. He was active in Bright Futures which is an excellent program.
Xavier had an acerbic sense of humor and was bitingly funny. He will be dearly missed by our family and the community.
Ypsilanti police have not released further details of how Small died. Autopsy results are pending.