HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) — Cherry Hills Community Church held a vigil in support of STEM School following Tuesday’s shooting. The congregation wasn’t sure if students would come, but they wanted them to know they’d be there if they did.
“During times like this people need support, they need prayer, they need help. We want the community to know that our doors are wide open,” said Pastor Tyler Grissom.
Grissom spent the morning setting tables for all of his neighbors. He says this tragedy hit close to home.
“One of my key volunteer’s granddaughters was in the classroom. This has gotten very personal,” explained Grissom.
During the shooting, Maddie Crea was in a classroom miles away at Highlands Ranch High School (HRHS). She couldn’t feel any closer.
“He’s my age, and I could’ve been him. It could’ve been any of us,” Crea said of Kendrick Castillo, the STEM student killed in the shooting.
Crea is part of Team Enough, a youth-led initiative to end gun violence. They hosted another memorial vigil at HRHS Wednesday night.
“It’s mostly to bring the community together and wrap our arms around STEM. We hope to open people’s eyes to the realities of gun violence,” said Crea.
The pastor and Crea have never met, but their hearts are in the same place. It’s place the STEM community is always welcome.
“It feels so distant and far away when we hear about it in the news, but it hurts when it’s in our backyard,” said Crea.
The Douglas County School District created a donation website to help students affected by the shooting.