AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Whenever Sanghyuk Kim saw that a friend of his or classmate were having a bad day, he’d make a heart shape above his head with his arms and tell them “I love you” in Korean. It was the 16-year-old Overland High School student’s way of putting a smile on the face of those who needed one.
On Friday, more than 100 of Kim’s classmates joined his family for a candlelight vigil at Utah Park in Aurora. Kim was shot and killed last weekend outside a warehouse party in Denver.
Police say they have not made any arrests in the shooting and have not identified any suspects. They have released few details about the shooting.
For his friends and family, Kim’s death is hard to believe. Kim was an honors student at Overland, he was well-liked among his classmates, and described as a “good kid” who many think was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A standout drummer, Kim was an integral part of the school’s music program.
“To jazz, Sang was family, we cared for him,” one student told the crowd gathered at the vigil.
Students passed hot chocolate and coffee and took turns at a microphone, sharing stories of the kindness Kim had shown them.
“He was just a really light-spirited person and he was so nice to everybody and he really made everybody smile and laugh,” said Belem Martinez, a classmate and close friend of Kim’s.
Kim had moved from South Korea to Colorado with his family, where his father is a pastor.
“He had a really close bond with his mother,” said Seong Oh, another friend. “His father, being a pastor, they were really close too — and his sister. He was just a humble guy.”
Members of the band sold black t-shirts with the words “I love you” in Korean spelled out in white at the vigil to raise money to help Kim’s family cover the cost of his funeral.
They have also set up a GoFundMe page in his name.