Friends: Teen killed over Cartier sunglasses was star basketball player, model student

An 18-year-old man killed in Detroit over a pair of Cartier sunglasses is being remembered Wednesday by teachers and classmates.

"You better hold on to every moment, because you just don't know. You don't know," said Leslie Renne-Kegebein, principal of Madison Preparatory High School.

In most of 18-year-old Lateo Garret's moments, he was smiling.

"All of us should aspire to be the kind of person Tao was. It didn't seem like he ever had a bad day," said teacher and basketball coach Brian Murawski.

But his young life was taken last Saturday night  inside the Valero gas station on 7 Mile and Outer Drive on Detroit's east side. The Eastpointe teen was shot and killed over a pair of designer sunglasses.


"A pair of glasses that he worked hard for is the reason he's not here? Makes no sense," Renne-Kegebein said.

Lateo Garret, known to most as Tao, had been getting a drink from the gas station cooler with his cousin hen Detroit police say a man tried to grab his Cartier sunglasses off of his face. His mother says while Tao tried to move away. The man fired a single shot before running off without the glasses. Tao was hit in the stomach and later died in the hospital.

"Doesn't make any sense at all. It's sickening really," Murawski said.

Friends and staff at Madison Preparatory High School, where Tao graduated last year, remembered the teen Wednesday. Tao left his mark there and in ways they cannot even describe.

"This is the last person I would ever think this would happen to," Kayla Brown said.

"He was one of the greatest friends I knew here. He was kind. He was sweet," Deven Starkey said.

"He was very nice to everybody," Diamond West said.

Tao worked two jobs. His mother says it was so he could buy those designer sunglasses to wear to prom and graduation.
"He never put himself in a position to be where he is now. He always did the right thing," Renne-Kegebein said.

Tao was a star basketball player, helping his school win a state title.

"He was probably one of the best defensive players we had. He never tried to start arguments, he always tried to break up fights if it was on the court," said teammate AJ Williams.

He was also a model student.

"Always respectful. Always does what you ask him to do, works hard, he's the kind of kid you want your son to be," Murawski said.

Everyone at the school is heartbroken.

"We're all going to miss him very much," Renne-Kegebein said.

"The world needs more Taos," Murawski said.

But many are simply feeling lucky to have known him.

"I feel grateful, sad. I guess you just don't always know how long you have," Renne-Kegebein said.

Although Tao's family says that services will be private, they are planning a public candlelight vigil. You can also donate to his family by clicking here.