DIXON – The Riverfront was filled Wednesday night with song and praises to God for not taking a single life that morning at Dixon High.
Community members, students and their families attending the vigil hugged each other, in shock that a school shooting could happen in Dixon.
Faith Christian School eighth-grader Evan Fassler came to show support.
“I’m here to worship and pray that nobody was seriously hurt,” Evan said.
Steven Mendoza, youth pastor at Crossroads Community Church, addressed the crowd of about 3 dozen.
“Tonight, as Dixon, we are not going to let this tear us apart,” Mendoza said. “We are going to love and move forward,” he said, adding that “we are here for you.”
Move forward is just what 35-year-old Dixon resident Brook Ebersohl plans to do. She hopes the incident will bring the community together.
“It’s really good to have an event like this, to come out, hear the singing and the worshiping and feel the love,” Ebersohl said. “We need to teach empathy, humanity, and we need to move forward.”
Her daughter, Dixon High sophomore Evelyn Ebersohl, said she can’t believe what happened.
“The whole thing is really scary; it didn’t feel real,” she said.
Junior Aidan Long, 17, agreed. “It’s crazy to look back and see what happened today.”
Senior Taylor Smith, 18, wants to see some change at the school, especially more security at the doors leading into school.
“We know that it could happen to anyone at anytime,” she said.
With tears in her eyes, 17-year-old junior Taylor Troutman said she hopes future students won’t have to live through what she went through Wednesday.
“I wish there was a better way to promise incoming freshmen that this can’t happen to them.”
Counseling will be available to Dixon High School students, staff and family members for the remainder of the school year.
Call the district office at 815-284-7722 for more information