Under gray skies, more than 100 people walked along a Cambridge street Wednesday night in memory of 15-year-old Richelle Robinson, who died after suffering an apparent assault Sunday evening while walking to a friend’s house.
“She was a very smart young lady, and very responsible,” her family wrote in a statement. “She was loved by many.”
Robinson, a student at Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School, would have turned 16 in September, her family said.
“She had future plans to become an Emergency Medical Technician,” the statement said. “She loved to dance and she loved makeup and getting her nails done.”
Her family organized the walk that started at 6:15 p.m. from the Lechmere MBTA Station. Former Cambridge mayor E. Denise Simmons comforted the family as she walked alongside them.
Cambridge Mayor Marc C. McGovern also took part, along with Robinson’s high school classmates and former teachers at Cambridge Upper School.
The walk ended nearly a mile away at Warren Street, near the spot where Robinson was allegedly shoved to the ground. Some left flowers and teddy bears there. More than a dozen candles were lit in her memory.
“As we stand here in the light of Richelle, we stand as one,” said Wayne Delevoux, a family friend and minister, said as the walk reached Warren Street. “She was always joyous — funny.”
Cambridge police and the Middlesex district attorney’s office are investigating her death. Prosecutors said they are looking to identify witnesses and learn the identity of a person seen riding a bicycle in the area.
Authorities have not identified Robinson, but her family authorized a close friend, DerriniQue Coleman, to identify her to the media.
Coleman and her sister, Johnetta, 18, of Cambridge said they grew up with Richelle and consider themselves sisters to her. They walked alongside Richelle’s mother and sister, KeyOndra Wilcox, 28.
Mourners were asked to dress in purple, Robinson’s favorite color. Her mother carried a purple towel. “Rest in paradise Richelle” was written on the front of one shirt. Her friends and classmates hugged and cried along the way. Some held hands, others held flowers.
“It’s a really hard thing to accept and understand,” said Connie Henderson, one of Richelle’s eighth-grade teachers at Cambridge Upper School.
Robinson was friendly, liked to chat, loved her friends — and was very organized. She kept a color-coded notebook, Henderson recalled.
Betsy Preval, her seventh-grade teacher, recalled Richelle’s smile, sense of fairness, and loyalty to friends. Richelle had “a lot of dreams for the future,” Preval said.
Kendal Schwarz, her eighth-grade math teacher, remembered Richelle as a determined student, who was “ready and eager to learn.”
Robinson was “a beam of light in the classroom,” she said.