CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – 17 people each held a picture of one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims at Miller Park in Chattanooga Saturday morning.
“He was the youngest of three children and loved video games and his dog,” student Seo Yoon Yang said about one of the victims.
The community came together for a rally of remembrance.
At the event there were speakers, like Dalton State College Professor Matt Hipps.
Hipps lost his close friend in the shooting Scott Beigel.
He can vividly recall when he found out about what happened to his friend.
Hipps said he was walking to teach class when he got a news notification on his phone.
He also got a text from Beigel’s girlfriend asking if he had heard from him.
She had not.
“It was 1:59 A.M. when I got the call. I picked up the phone, hello. Silence. It was so heavy, seemed like that moment lasted for hours and in that silence I knew, he was gone. My friend, my brother, Scott Beigel had been murdered,” Hipps said.
Hipps described Beigel as “selfless” and “one of the good guys.”
“He died ushering students into his classroom and placing himself between them and harm. He was safe in a locked room and he heard terrified students crying out for help in the hallway and without thinking, he unlocked his door, placed himself between the gunman and his students and saved them from further harm,” Hipps said.
Chattanooga Students Leading Change group members spoke at the rally.
Some held signs reading “school zones should not be war zones.”
“We must not discount the views of those affected daily by gun violence, no matter their age. If you’re old enough to be in a school shooting, you’re old enough to fight to stop being in a school shooting,” student Zachary Opengart said.
17 balloons were also released for each victim.