TV2: Vigil brings Kent students together to remember Chardon tragedy

Doug Rogers

KentWired Video

var so = new SWFObject(‘’,’mpl’,’665′,’450′,’9′);





Jacob Bashor may have just graduated from Kent State, but Chardon will always be part of his life.

He graduated from the high school in 2006, but his sister also attends the school there.

“At first, I was wondering why she was texting me so early in the morning,” Bashor said. “Then, she told me that there was a gun in the school, and it was on lockdown. The hardest thing that hit me when she told me – I love you so much. That was me thinking: Did she see a gunman? Does she think she’s going to get shot? Does she think she is going to make it or not?”

His sister was one of the first groups evacuated from the high school, and their mom was one of the first ten parents to pick her up.

However, five students weren’t that fortunate.

Three lost their lives, and one has since been released from the hospital.

Candles burned, lighting up Risman Plaza Wednesday night.

The Kent State community gathered to show support for the five victims of the Chardon High School shooting Monday. Some people made the trip from Chardon, and graduates from the school also remembered the tragedy, many wearing the school’s colors – red and black.

Kent State freshman Sydney Palek comes from a community just down the road from Chardon.

“I’m from Riverside and just like the ties you have,” Palek said. “My little sisters have friends that go there. My friend would have ridden the bus with the shooter if he would have waited a few hours more. It’s so weird to think this would happen in your own backyard.”

Bashor’s sister knew one of the victims – Russell King. She rode the bus with him everyday. King also lived near them.

“She’s still in shock,” Bashor said. “She went to the vigil at Saint Mary’s Church last night. I talked to my mom this afternoon. She said last night was when it really hit home for her. I know that they’re all worried about going back to school tomorrow, just walking through the halls with their parents and everything.”

While shock hit Bashor’s sister, Palek struggled to understand the tragedy.

“I didn’t think it would really affect me at first,” Palek said. “But then, I was thinking yesterday morning, I was think that there are three less kids waking up today. There are three less kids that are going to be applying to college because some kid brought a gun to school.”

That gun has forever changed the community in ways people will never forget.

Contact Doug Rogers at [email protected].