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Community gathers in support of Brookside teen

Classmates of the 16-year-old shooting victim from Christ the King School gathered along with residents from Brookside and surrounding communities to hold a candlelight vigil on Thursday evening.
Classmates of the 16-year-old shooting victim from Christ the King School gathered along with residents from Brookside and surrounding communities to hold a candlelight vigil on Thursday evening.

The lyric to the popular song “Fight Song” filled the room, as a wave of light swept through Recreation centre in Brookside last night.

one by one residents lit candles to show their support for a 16-year-old youth from the community.
The teen, who cannot be named because of his age, is in hospital in St. John’s following a gunshot wound he sustained to his upper right chest on Dec. 31
Julie Hayes, the organizer of the candlelight vigil, was glad to see so many people attend the event.
“I am grateful for how many people came out,” she told The Southern Gazette. “It’s amazing — the turn out was great.

one by one residents lit candles to show their support for a 16-year-old youth from the community.
The teen, who cannot be named because of his age, is in hospital in St. John’s following a gunshot wound he sustained to his upper right chest on Dec. 31
Julie Hayes, the organizer of the candlelight vigil, was glad to see so many people attend the event.
“I am grateful for how many people came out,” she told The Southern Gazette. “It’s amazing — the turn out was great.

Students at Christ the King School who know the shooting victim were comforting each other during the vigil .

“Everybody showed their love and support and I’m sure the family is going to be very thankful for this.”
Hayse said students in the community who know the victim are coping with what has happened.
“Their dealing with it in the right way,” she said.

She added that the incident has left residents of the community in shock.  
“Everybody is torn, they’re shocked, they’re broken, they’re upset.”
Hayse asked that people keep the victim and his family in their prayers.
Another community member, Jayne Hayes, said in this time of tragedy that people of the community are turning towards one another for strength.
“By holding on to each other and having something tangible that they can relate to, it helps them deal better with their concerns and get their emotions flowing.”

Approximately 150 people came out to show their support for the shooting victim and his family. The community have been fundraising to help the family offset the costs of travel and accommodations while in St. John’s.

She added that by giving people the opportunity to open up about their emotions it helps the healing process begin.
Hayes said this has been a hard time for all members of the community.
“Opinions are hard to deal with sometimes,” she said.  
“People have their own opinions and where they lie is really up to them, but at the end of the day they have to do those aside.”
She added that instead, “It has to be a peaceful time. We have to dig deep into our heart and souls and find a peace that passes all understanding so that we can deal (with this) and be there for each other, because love is the key, if we don’t share love we can’t get past our differences.”
A mother in the community whose son is close friends with the victim shared a little about the kind of person he is.
“He would make a smile on anyone’s face, he was a character,” she said. “He was a joker, I hope he pulls through.”

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