The Vikings from Peter Johansen High school in Modesto where 18-year-old Tylor Crippen graduated, opened his vigil Tuesday night with a song.
Hundreds held candles and said kind words about Crippen.
“You could just tell he was a good person,” said special education teacher at Peter Johansen High School Sue Hay.
Crippen was studying to become a registered nurse.
“I think I feel the loss of someone who could have helped the world. When I heard he was going to be a nurse, it just seemed so right. He was so tender,” said Hay.
Crippen was walking with his girlfriend through Creekwood Park when he was stabbed to death by three teens trying to rob him.
“It could have been my son. He was here half and hour before it happened,” said parent Sondra Taylor.
Parents like Taylor came not only in support of Crippen’s family, but with the hope that changes come to Creekwood, a place she says has become a playground for gang violence.
“Where else are the kids supposed to play? There is nothing else around here. My son plays basketball right over there. Again, it shouldn’t be happening,” Taylor said.
The three teens allegedly involved in Crippen’s death were arrested and are believed to be gang members.
Since Crippen’s death Jan. 29, police officers have increased their presence at Creekwood Park.