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Candlelight Vigil Concludes 20th Anniversary Observance Of Thurston School Shooting

Brian Bull

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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