On Thursday, November 14th, 2019, the Santa Clarita community was rocked to its core by one of the city’s most horrifying events to date. After a 16-year-old student opened fire on the campus of Saugus High School, it did not take long for authorities to respond to the scene — but for too many families, the damage had already been done.
Six students in total were injured, with three ultimately passing away at the hospital where they had been transported to receive treatment for their injuries — one of which being the shooter himself, who died as a result of a self-inflicted head wound. Hearts were full when Andrew Gardetto, Addison Koegle and Mia Page Tretta were released from hospital. Unfortunately, Gracie Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell passed away and were remembered fondly and earnestly at a vigil on Sunday evening November 17th, held in honor of the victims and their loved ones.
The vigil was held in Central Park, with an estimated 10,000 people in attendance to honor and pay respect to Gracie and Dominic, and in the wake of such tragic circumstances, the vigil served as a way of bringing thousands of residents and visitors alike together to pay homage to the lives lost in Thursday morning’s shooting.
The vigil featured speeches from Mayor Marsha McLean, Mayor Pro-Tem Cameron Smyth, and other public and religious figures alongside members of both Gracie and Dominic’s families. Dressed in Saugus colors and wielding blue and white glowsticks, supporters banded together to cry out against the violent acts of the shooter and showed their unwavering support and dedication to remain #SaugusStrong.
In times as difficult as these, it is imperative that the community remain united in one goal: to hold up and assist the families of the victims as they struggle through the effects of Thursday’s unspeakable events, in whatever way they possibly can. Whether it be financially, emotionally, or otherwise, Santa Clarita community is resolute in its determination to bolster up the victim’s loved ones and share in both their grieving and progression forward.
We send our thanks to the first responders, Saugus High School staff and teachers and hospital staff who acted swiftly and efficiently.
From our heart to yours, we forever remain #SaugusStrong.
Love from the Santa Clarita Magazine Staff.
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