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Minnesota Shooting Victim Was an Adored School Cafeteria Manager

Before he was fatally shot by a police officer in Minnesota on Wednesday, before his name became a hashtag, Philando Castile was known as a warm and gentle presence at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, where he managed the cafeteria.

He was there when children streamed into school for breakfast in the morning, playing music and bantering. He was there when they returned for lunch: Laughing with kids, urging them to eat more vegetables, helping keep order in his easygoing way.

And so it is difficult for anyone at J.J. Hill to understand why he won’t be there anymore, and how he could be gone.