SOUTHGATE (WWJ) – Hundreds gathered in Southgate Thursday night for a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of an 8th grade student who killed himself in a middle school bathroom.
Anderson High School’s drumline played taps as friends and family of the 13-year-old boy who took his own life gathered to share memories and mourn the loss of such a young, vibrant person.
One of the boy’s friends, Dalton, said the entire school is in shock over the incident.
“I would not know him to do this. He was nice, he was outgoing, he had so many friends that nobody disliked him. I just can’t believe it,” he said.
The 13-year-old student was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in a bathroom before class began Thursday at Davidson Middle School. Some students have implied the boy was bullied, but investigators said they’ve found no evidence of depression or bullying.
The boy’s sister, who clutched a family picture and wiped away tears throughout the vigil, said her brother never mentioned feeling depressed, but encouraged anyone who might be going through a tough time to try to get some help.
“We did not know, and if you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, you need to get help because doing things like this causes hurt to everyone,” she said.
Davidson Middle School is closed Friday, but school officials say there will be counselors on hand for students and staff who need to talk with someone about the tragedy.
In the meantime, school staff will be working with authorities on beefing up security at the school. Many parents and community members want the school to install metal detectors, after the boy was able to walk through the doors with a loaded handgun.
District Superintendent William Grusecki said something to that degree isn’t going to happen overnight, but when students return to school Monday, there will be extra security and searches at the door.
“It’d be best if they not bring backpacks, if they carried their books out in the open whenever they could,” he said. “So, we’ll look for certain things like bulky garments or anything like that, and we’ll take the appropriate steps to check things out.”
WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com are not releasing the boy’s name.