Candlelight Vigil Concludes 20th Anniversary Observance Of Thurston School Shooting

May 21, 2018

Last night, nearly 200 people gathered in Springfield’s William S. Fort Memorial Park to hold a candlelight vigil. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the event was to mark 20 years since the Thurston School Shooting.

Attendees at last night's vigil held candles in honor of the victims of the May 21, 1998 Thurston School Shooting.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Nearly 200 people showed at the event, which included music, speeches, and a moment of silence.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

People gathered across the street from Thurston High School, where then-15-year-old Kip Kinkel opened fire on his classmates on May 21st, 1998. Two students died, while two dozen more were wounded. Kinkel had also killed his parents the night before.

Rio Samaniego, of the local March for Our Lives Movement.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Rio Samaniego is a junior at Thurston, and a member of the March for Our Lives Movement.  He says for all the political divisiveness that surrounds gun control and school safety, the vigil itself is non-partisan.

“It’s important to acknowledge that no matter what political affiliation you might have, whether you stand in favor of gun control like I do, or whether you are the most devout NRA member, it’s important to remember the people who have died, and the people whose lives have changed as a result of gun violence.”

The vigil follows an earlier event at Thurston High, where a remembrance ceremony was held at a memorial site.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.