MADISON, Wis. – A family member confirms to News 3 Now that the victim of Sunday night’s homicide in Fitchburg was Verona student Shay Watson.
Watson was identified as the victim by a family member who said they were choosing not to speak to the media Monday.
The 17-year-old had been a student at Madison West High School, but transferred to Verona Area High School where he played football last year. Football highlights, as well as social media posts, show his activity on the team, but he was not currently listed on this year’s roster.
A Madison Metropolitan School District staff member spoke about Watson’s death at a welcome event for teachers Monday morning, noting he played flag football with her son and also played at West High School.
“This is real ya’ll. We have kids right now that will not be in school until next week,” said Executive Director of Family, Youth and Community Engagement for MMSD Nichelle Nichols. “They’re hurting. They’re on social media. People are numb, so I needed to speak his name, Shay Watson, because we have kids impacted by stuff every day.”
Verona High School let families know Monday morning that a student died Sunday night, but have not confirmed it was Watson.
“We are sharing this information with families so they may monitor their own students’ emotional well-being in case they may have known this student,” said Principal Pam Hammen in an email to families. “Our student services team including counselors will be available to provide any support needed.”
The Dane County Medical Examiner has not officially identified the victim, but Fitchburg Police said an autopsy was completed Monday morning.
Police would also not confirm that the victim was a Verona student.