SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — Thousands gathered in a massive show of support and solidarity Sunday night at a “Saugus Strong” vigil honoring those killed in the Saugus High School shooting.
“I can think of no better better way to show the rest of the nation tonight as we light up well over ten thousands glow sticks, the colors of Saugus High School,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth.
The event lasted almost two hours and was held in the park the students evacuated to after the shooting, which claimed the lives of students Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Anne Muehlberger and wounded three other students on November 14.
Blackwell’s aunt gave his public eulogy, tearfully listing what they’ll miss: “Our family will never get Dominic back, or see his smile, or hear his laughter, or hold him ever again.”
As a crowd of thousands wept along with him, in silence broken only by sobs, Muelberger’s brother described his little sister, and the last time he saw her — a surprise visit home on her birthday last month. The barely 15 year old died after being shot at school on Thursday.
“You were so happy to see me as I was to see you. I’ve never seen such a big and beautiful smile come from.”
Addi Keogle, one of three students who was shot and survived, sent an audio message, holding the crowd rapt with surprisingly upbeat memories of her late friends Gracie and Dominic Blackwell, and her already staunch commitment to honor their memories.
“I promise each of you that I will make something out of this horrible situation, Gracie would have wanted me to, we got this!” Keogle told the crowd.
It was a theme echoed by the Saugus High Student Body President, who rallied the crowd decked out in Saugus High blue, saying today is pain, tomorrow is purpose: “We are resilient, we are courageous, we are living and most of all, we are Saugus Strong.”