“They really came together.” Butler students organize vigil for classmate killed

Butler High vigil
Butler High vigil(Source: WBTV-Amanda Foster)
Updated: Oct. 30, 2018 at 6:10 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - After a 16-year-old boy was killed at a Matthews high school Monday morning, some of the boy’s classmates say they did not want to be alone, that night.

Students of Butler High School are sorting through what happened within their school walls Monday, and the deadly outcome for one of their own

“This is my child’s school,” mom Kelly Skillern says. “You don’t understand it as well as now I understand it, until it happens to your family.”

Skillern’s daughter goes to Butler, and was a friend of the boy killed, Bobby McKeithen.

“He always made her laugh,” she says. “He was like a clown, always had love in his heart, joy.”

Just less than 12 hours after the teen was shot and killed by another classmate, Skillern’s daughter organized students Monday night, by the hundreds, to gather around a flag in front of the school. The flag was at half-staff.

“One simple tweet, or whatever they do, and here we are,” Skillern says.

Student Jordan Jackson is grateful for the gathering.

“I just do not want to be alone right now,” he says. “I rather be close to my friends and my peers.”

He says he was not sure if the shooting was real, at first.

“Next thing I know, I’m getting pulled into the front office by teachers saying everybody get down, get down,” he says.

Jackson later learned the reality – his neighborhood friend was killed inside another hallway.

“Somebody you knew, somebody who would play basketball in front of your house, just chill and be a really nice person,” Jackson says. “[You] figure out he was the one who was shot and was killed because of something stupid, it makes no sense.”

Monday, candles were raised, and balloons released, in memory of their classmate.

“They really came together,” Skillern says. “And I pray that this is something they continue.”

The students will have some time away from school to continue dealing with what happened Monday. They will return to class on Thursday.

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