• Mount Vernon High School honors Cascade Mall shooting victim

    By: Natasha Chen


    Mount Vernon, Wash. – Friday night, the Mount Vernon High School football team faces Kamiak High School, and both schools are dealing with grief over the deaths of students who were shot this year.

    One week ago, 16-year-old Sarai Lara was one of five people shot and killed by a gunman at the Cascade Mall.
    At the end of July, three young alumni of Kamiak High School died when a gunman shot them at a party in Mukilteo.
    Before the game, the two teams plan on a moment of silence. Kamiak High School students are wearing a green stripe to honor their opponents, while Mount Vernon High School students are wearing pink and purple to remember Lara.
    “It’s a sad commentary on the kinds of violence that our kids are exposed to,” said Rod Merrell, the principal of Mount Vernon High School.
    He said they have tried this week to focus on positive actions, asking how the community can help Lara’s family and trying to offer support to one another.
    He said about 700 people attended Lara’s funeral Friday.
    For her close friend Racquel Becera, the funeral was a final reminder that Lara would not be coming back.
    “Seeing her laying in the casket, throwing dirt over it. It broke my heart,” Becera said.
    “She knew how to bring a smile out of everyone. She would always be happy, make everyone happy,” she said.
    Washington State Patrol officials told KIRO 7 on Thursday that they have obtained surveillance video from a gun shop, where people told investigators the suspect may have tried to purchase a gun hours before the mall shooting.
    WSP has not determined yet whether the suspect appears in that video.

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