CHARDON, Ohio — The handmade sign at the candlelight vigil read, “2-27-12 Never Forget.”
Dozens of students parents, staff and community members gathered at the Chardon Square gazebo Monday night to remember and support the victims of the Chardon High School shooting.
“It’s terrible, I’m friends with them all. Like I said, we are such a small little town and it’s really hard,” said student, Kasey Eichele.
“I got a text from my son who was at the school while I was working this morning, and it said, ‘I’m okay, don’t freak out there’s a gunman at the school.’ And you’re looking at it and it takes a couple of seconds before it registers, “ said parent Rich Leskovec.
Monday afternoon, officials confirmed 16-year-old Daniel Parmertor died from his injuries.
At the vigil there were prayers for his family.
“I just want to show I care. Even though we are sports rivals, I care about everyone in the community,” Jake Hall of Riverside High School said at the vigil.
“Our school motto is, ‘one heartbeat.’ Even though I didn’t know the kids personally I feel I need to be here just for the school,” said Taylor Smoske, another Chardon High School student.
Some students got counseling at Chardon Middle School.
Shelby McBride was inside the cafeteria when the alleged shooter, identified by multiple sources as T.J. Lane, opened fire at 7:38 a.m.
“And then two more shots were fired and he nonchalantly walked out of the cafeteria with the gun at his side,“ McBride said after she sought counseling.
Many who did not seek out the counseling are leaning on loved ones and fellow classmates to get through this together.