POWAY (CBS 8) - Poway High School confirmed Tuesday that a popular student who was shot in the head while partying with friends has died.
Luke Lipscomb was shot at a classmate's home on November 4, and had been clinging to life ever since. His friends thought he was battling back, but he took a turn for the worse.
At a candelight vigil in front of the school Tuesday night, the honors student and varsity Lacrosse team member was remembered as "a genuinely good guy," intelligent, athletic, and funny.
"He had a really contagious smile," said classmate Robert Merrigan.
"He just made everyone happy," added junior Sarah Wakefield.
Friends say they were hopeful Luke Lipscomb was on the road to recovery, when on his 17th birthday last week, they received word he had regained consciousness.
"He woke up, got to see his parents, told him he loved them, gave them a hug," classmate Harrison Flaherty said.
That was on Friday, but by Monday, Luke's family informed Poway High School he had taken a turn for the worse and had died.
"This has really shocked us , we didn't see it coming at all," a friend said.
They say because 11/11 was Luke's birthday, 11 was his favorite number. He wore it proudly on his Lacrosse jersey, and now his fellow teammates are wearing number 11 in his memory.
Friends say Luke had a 3.9 GPA, was smart and funny, with his whole future ahead of him. But one week before his birthday, on Friday, November 4, he was found bleeding with a gunshot wound to the head and a rifle next to his body. Investigators say he was with friends at a house on Midland Road, smoking what they believed to be marijuana laced with hallucinogenic drugs.
Investigators won't reveal the circumstances surrounding the shooting, or who they believe fired the weapon, but the homicide unit is working the case, and no arrests have been made.
In the meantime, friends have erected a makeshift memorial on the fence in front of Poway High School.
"Titans band together as a community," said junior Stephanie Colvin. "We're always there for each other... to comfort each other in times like this."
THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. For an earlier version, read below.
POWAY (CNS) - A Poway teenager who was shot in the head 10 days ago died Monday.
Luke Lipscomb was a junior at Poway High School and a member of the varsity lacrosse team. Sunday was his 17th birthday.
He was shot at a neighbor's home off Midland Road the night of Nov. 4. He had been clinging to life since.
Sheriff's homicide detectives have been investigating; no arrests have been made.
Traci Barker-Ball, the student services coordinator at the high school, posted on her Facebook page Monday evening: "Luke, you went before your time but your mark was a positive one. Titans, we will have the Titan Center and/or K-1 open tomorrow for anyone who needs to stop by. Written with a broken heart."
Friends also expressed their sorrow.
"RIP Luke, 11/14/11, u were the best brother anybody could ask for ... u will be missed and forever loved, I love u bro," one post read.
Monday night hundreds of students gathered in front of the Poway High School campus on Espola Road. The candlelight vigil lasted more than an hour as friends quietly shared stories about Luke.
Plastics cups were inserted into the chain link fence in front of the football field. "Luke 11," the message read. Eleven was Luke's lacrosse number.
Sheriff's homicide Lt. Larry Nesbit could not be reached for comment Monday night. Last week he declined to release many details on the case, which involves at least one other Poway High lacrosse player and suggestions of marijuana spiked with a hallucinogenic drug.
Nesbit said at the time that detectives were awaiting toxicology results that could take weeks to process before likely moving ahead with the case.
The boy lived near where the shooting occurred, on a property where the other lacrosse player lives.
According to a news statement released Nov. 5, Poway deputies were asked to assist the Poway Fire Department with male juveniles who had been using drugs and were possibly hallucinating about 6:15 p.m.
As the deputies were en route, they were told one of the juveniles had been shot.