Brandon Porter-Young

The stabbing death of a beloved, 18-year-old autistic student has rocked the students and faculty at Whitney Young High School, where he attended, and the West Side. Brandon Porter-Young was found dead on Friday, at around 10 p.m., at an East Garfield Park hotel where he was staying temporarily. 

Porter-Young’s body had multiple upper body stab wounds, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. So far, Chicago police said, no arrests have been made. 

Joyce Dorsey Kenner, Whitney Young’s principal, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the 18-year-old had a serious learning disability and a “profound issue with intellectual capacity.” 

Nonetheless, the school’s faculty members told the Sun-Times, Porter-Young played Special Olympics basketball and was a member of the school’s Best Buddies program, which allows students in the general student body to pair up with special education students. 

According to Rebecca Folkerts, a Best Buddies program adviser who once taught Brandon-Porter, her former student had “a great sense of humor” and was “extremely bright.” He was supposed to graduate at the end of the year and was poised to start working. 

Students at Whitney Young coped with their classmate’s death last week “by creating art in his honor and fundraising for the boy’s family as police continued to search for his killer,” the Sun-Times reported. 

The school is planning a memorial service for Porter-Young on Feb. 20 at Whitney Young.