Staff Sgt. Mark Salazar, 27, was shot and killed by officers after they said he pointed a handgun at them.
Friday evening, a crowd of about 100 of Salazar's friends gathered at his alma mater, 71st High School, to remember the person they knew and loved.
Many in attendance at the vigil said they were there not only to honor Salazar but to make sure the truth about his death was told.
"It's just sad when you have a good person that was just very sweet, no known enemies or anything like that just taken from you so soon," said Tiara Cohen. "You want to let them know that they are loved and that their integrity they carried their whole life was very important and it didn't go unseen."
"Mark still had a lot to live for," said Shederis Lakin. "He was a very good person. He had a son he loved dearly."
Friends said Salazar was not the type of person who would point a gun at officers.
His memorial service will be held May 31 at the JFK Memorial at Fort Bragg.
Three officers remain on administrative duty while the State Bureau of Investigation looks into the incident.