NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Loved ones gathered at St. Charles Borromeo Church on Tuesday to remember a 20-year-old man killed during this weekend’s lightning strike in Venice.
Nick Fagnano was one of 13 people at the beach who were struck, including a part-time lifeguard who remains hospitalized. Fagnano was the only one who died from his injuries.
Family and friends say he was always smiling and was well-liked by those around him. He had just been accepted to USC and was excited to start classes this fall.
“Everyone loved the guy. He was a giant teddy bear who never judged. He was one of my closest friends ever, and I’ll never have another like him,” said Brett Sesma, who was with Fagnano at the beach that day.
Sesma and Alex Zamora were at the beach’s volleyball courts when Nick went in the water to rinse off some sand.
“We hear a big, loud noise, louder than any of us have ever heard,” Zamora said of the strike.
Sesma and Zamora played baseball with Fagnano at Notre Dame High School and helped organize Tuesday night’s prayer service, where many Notre Dame students attend Mass.
Fagnano’s parents didn’t attend the memorial, but his uncle, Dennis Shanahan, said the support means the world to the family.
“There’s so much love for this young man, and it’s just heartwarming,” the uncle said.
Fagnano’s former roommate, Matt Cohen, said the service was “a good chance for the community to get together and pay their respects to one of the greatest people to walk this Earth.”
A funeral has been set for Thursday at St. Brendan Church in Hancock Park.
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