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Vigil honors Lake City family after tragedy

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LAKE CITY, Fla. – Students and loved ones attended a candlelight vigil at the Columbia High School stadium Monday night honoring their fellow students who were victims in a triple shooting that rocked Lake City over the weekend.

Police said 41-year-old Khoa Vu shot and killed his wife, Tina Vu, and their 14-year-old son, Khoi before shooting their 17-year-old daughter, Whit, who is in stable condition at a local hospital Police say Vu had gotten into an argument with his wife before opening fire. 

The vigil just brought hundreds of people from the area, gathered at the high school stadium to remember the family known for their kindness and generosity.

"I broke down in tears. I couldn't handle it. He was one of my closest friends for many years and just, everything just went down after I heard it," classmate Ronald Morris said.

Morris said he was stunned to learn what happened saying Khoi was one of his best friends.

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"It really hurts to see him gone. I don't know who would've thought about killing such an innocent kid. He was a good student and he was a perfect friend to me. He was always there, he always had my back and I always had his," Morris said.

Missy Zecher's son is a freshman at the high school and said he was in the same Spanish class as Khoi and is one of the many people having a tough time accepting what happened.

"(My son) said today was a very hard day in Spanish class. A lot of the kids were very upset, crying. Just something we don't understand as a parent and as a child. It's just something you can't even fathom," Zecher said.

As classmates filled the stands of the football stadium, lighting candles, praying and honoring all three of the people shot, Zecher said as a family absorbing what happened, they leaned on faith and empathy.

"You know we prayed. We talked about, you know, what goes on in other people's homes. You just need to show love and kindness every day because you don't, you have no clue what people are dealing with inside and in their family life," Zecher said.

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For Morris, Monday's vigil was a chance to mourn his loss with his friends and classmates.

"They've been devastated, just knowing a nice guy like him is gone," Morris said.

Columbia High freshman Jordan Gibbons said he and Khoi were classmates since middle school and said that he can't make sense of what happened.

"He was a funny person. He was a good-hearted, funny person. Nice and cool to be around," Gibbons said. "It kind of breaks my heart because he was, it felt like it wasn't supposed to happen because he was a good kid. I don't see what he did wrong."

Amanda Street lives in Lake City and has been following the news of what happened to the Vu family and said this is the last place she would expect it to happen.

"It's hard to know that somebody that young was killed and it's scary, especially here," Street said.

For Gibbons, what happened has given him a new outlook.

"It kind of changes the way I think about people, like I don't really know, that you just need to watch out for them because you really don't know how people are these days," Gibbons said.

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