TROUTDALE -- Two vigils were held on Tuesday night, in memory of Emilio Hoffman, the student killed in Tuesday morning’s shooting at Reynolds High School.
People who knew Emilio and even total strangers attended the vigils. They sang songs, cried together and prayed together as members of the community honored the 14-year-old shooting victim.
The first vigil was held at the Greater Portland Baptist Church, and the second at Walt Morey Middle School. Hundreds of students, staff, and parents came together.
Throughout the vigils, people sang songs, such as ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Lean on Me.’ The songs each started with a few people, and grew until the whole crowd was singing. But as loud as the singing was, you could still hear people sobbing, grieving for the loss of Hoffman.
Hoffman’s mom and sister were there, and standing next to them was Governor John Kitzhaber.
“I would ask all Oregonians to keep them in their thoughts and their hearts in their prayers,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “And also to ask ourselves how we managed to build a society where our young people have active shooting drills.”
Khandice Love, one of the Vice Principals of Reynolds High School, said she really believes that the actions of Reynolds staff members saved many lives on Tuesday morning.
"When I came to the vigil tonight, I discovered how humanity seems to rise above sometimes in these type of tragic situations,” said Love at one of the vigils. “So always remember to say, ‘I love you,’ and always try to leave saying something positive, because you don’t know what could happen in the next minute.”
A student who was friends with Hoffman said she was locked down in her classroom for two hours on Tuesday, and spent the whole time going on Facebook, and texting all her friends.
Hoffman was the one person who never responded. It wasn’t until hours later that his friends found out why.