TROUTDALE, Ore. -- Kaylah Ensign considered Emilio Hoffman one of her closest friends. That is why he was the first person she tried contacting when the lockdown at Reynolds High School was finally lifted.
"I was texting him and calling him and I saw his mom," Ensign recalled.
Together the two looked for Hoffman, but he was nowhere to be found. It was not until hours later that Ensign learned he was the student gunned down in the locker room.
"I broke down," said Ensign. "It was horrible. My friends were crying and hugging me and apologizing."
Police said Hoffman, 14, was shot by a lone gunman in a locker room in the school gymnasium.
Hoffman was a special kid. He was a soccer star, but there was so much more to him than that. According to Ensign, Hoffman was warm-hearted, honest, smart, and funny. She said he was the type of person who would put others before himself.
"I would have some of the hardest days of my life and he would make me smile," said Ensign. "I came home [after learning of his death] and I was in denial."
Making matters even worse, Ensign cannot think of anyone who would want to hurt Hoffman.
"He's just so amazing and great," she said. "It hurts that I'll wake up tomorrow and he won't be here."
But the memories are not going anywhere. It is the memories that Ensign will hold close to her heart.
"I want everyone to know he was a great kid," she said. "He is somewhere better."