CHARDON, Ohio -- Thousands of people showed their support for the victims of the school shooting during a community vigil in Chardon Tuesday evening at The Church of St. Mary.
A sea of people holding lit candles and many wearing red and black, Chardon High School's colors, mourned the victims, prayed for their families and showed solidarity during this dark time.
The vigil inside the church was broadcast on a screen in front of the church, where mourners packed the front yard and driveway.
Prayers and thoughts were especially with the families of Daniel Parmertor, Demetrius Hewlin and Russell King, the three students who passed away after being shot by the school shooter Monday morning.
"Russell was one of my best friends since I was like three or four," Thomas DiMaria said at the vigil as he held a candle.
DiMaria said he realizes this is the start of a long emotional process.
"It's not something that any 18-year-old can fathom, not being able to see a friend again like that. We're just not, we haven't even lived long enough to experience the kind of time it's gonna take," DiMaria said.
Ohio Governor John Kasich urged the community to support the victims and their families long-term, while giving the families of the deceased victims time to mourn in peace.
"Love one another, because it's all about love. It's about reaching out to people that you never thought about reaching out to before," Kasich said.
For many, the harsh reality of the tragedy is just hitting.
"Like, it's a little freaked out. I'm not sure if I'm gonna get used to it," Chardon High School student Salvador Rodriguez said.
"I think it's setting in, more of what happened. Yesterday you couldn't believe it," Lisa Moriarty, a parent of a Chardon High School student, said.
"If something happens to me - I hope half this many people are here," DiMaria said.