Community turns out for vigil at Rancho Tehama Rec Hall

Many in the audience said they were confused, angry, and sad by everything that happened Tuesday morning.

Posted: Nov 15, 2017 11:14 PM
Updated: Nov 16, 2017 12:16 AM

Rancho Tehama, Calif.-- Alondra Mendoza was one of many to attend Wednesday night's vigil.

Her six-year-old cousin Alejandro, known as Alex by many, is a first grader at Rancho Tehama Elementary and was shot in the foot and chest.

"The other little kids actually watched him get shot and now they're just like, how is alex, how is alex, and it's hard because we don't even know who he is, ya know," Mendoza said.

Like Mendoza, many in the audience said they were confused, angry, and sad by everything that happened Tuesday morning.

Kathy Gumble has lived in the community for 12 years and said she wanted to offer emotional support.

"I was just shocked, I couldn't even imagine, especially the idea of going to the school after the kids. That's I think the worst part," Gumble said.

During the public speaking portion, residents expressed there must be a call to action to prevent something like this from happening in the future.

One speaker said there were many warning signs from this gun-man and asked others to call police whenever someone hears shots being fired in their neighborhoods.

While many took a moment to applaud the teachers and their heroic actions by immediately locking classrooms, some teachers came forward and praised the students who were cooperative as the shooting was happening.

Raul Pinero had two daughters in the school at the time, and said he left the vigil feeling optimistic about the future.

"I'm glad these people came together and this is what we need, we need more of this. The more we know of each other out here, the better it is," Pinero said.

"Just because a tragedy happens doesn't mean that you can't stop loving one another you can't stop trusting on another. It's hard to understand," Mendoza said.

Mendoza she her cousin Alex continues to be treated and they are waiting for a foot specialist to check his injuries so fragments of the bullet can be taken out of his foot.
She said she is thankful to everyone who has donated to the GoFundMe so far.

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