NC State students hold vigil in memory of UNC-Charlotte shooting victims

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- More than 70 students gathered at Stafford Commons on NC State's campus Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil in memory of the victim's from Tuesday's deadly shooting at UNC Charlotte.

Nineteen-year-old Ellis Parlier and 21-year-old Riley Howell were identified as the two victims who were killed.

Drew Pescaro, 19, Sean DeHart, 20, Emily Houpt, 23, and Rami Alramadhan, 20, were all injured.

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The UNC-Charlotte community held a vigil Wednesday night to honor the victims of the campus shooting.



Pescaro and DeHart are both from Apex.

Pescaro graduated from Middle Creek High School where he was a member of the football team, while DeHart graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School.

"We're told that we come here to learn. We worry about our grades, we worry about what we're going to do after college. We're not supposed to worry about if we're going to be able to walk back to our dorms at the end of the day," said Jena Phillips, a student who helped organize the rally.

Last year, following the Parkland shooting, Phillips set up an exhibit at the Talley Student Union highlighting the frequency of mass shootings across the country

"It's no longer a top story on a lot of news stations, and I know a lot of college students are becoming desensitized to it. I think it's insane and it's crazy, but the closer it hits to home, the more people are going to wake up and realize it could happen here," said Phillips.

Standing near Phillips at the vigil was fellow student Elizabeth Weigle, whose cousin dates Pescaro.

Her mother informed her of the shooting over the phone on Tuesday night.

"'Erin's boyfriend Drew - he was shot in the back,'" Weigle recalled, her jaw dropping. "Is he okay?" she asked.

Weigle was one of the students who spoke during the event, which lasted nearly an hour.

Pescaro remains hospitalized but is expected to survive.

Prior to moving to Apex, DeHart lived in Connecticut, where a former neighbor shared her reaction.

"My heart just dropped. I remember the family very well. They were wonderful neighbors, and I still remember Sean probably as a 10-year-old playing in the backyard with our youngest son," said Beverly Shelton.

DeHart has been released from the hospital.

The principal at Cardinal Gibbons High School said the DeHart family has requested privacy, and the school would not comment on the incident further.
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