Salisbury University Community Gathers For Candlelight Vigil - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Salisbury University Community Gathers For Candlelight Vigil

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SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University community is still coping with the shock of a triple shooting, which ended in two deaths, and a Salisbury University student, Kristen Loetz, 21, recovering at Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

Hundreds of students and staff, along with many city officials, turned out for a candlelight vigil at Red Square on Wednesday, to try to come to grips with the tragic murder-suicide. Loetz is currently in critical but stable condition.

"We're wondering why us, why Salisbury University," says Katherine Mooney, Student Government President. "You kind of hear about these things at other schools, but you never think it will happen to your own school."

Many of the students, with candles in hand, represented their Greek families, including Loetz' sisters in Phi Mu. With teary eyes, some of the members spoke about Loetz in front of the large crowd, describing her as "always happy." School officials say some of her closest friends made the trip up to Baltimore on Wednesday to be with her family. She is currently a senior, studying nursing at the university, and has worked as a mentor at Dove Pointe for more than a year, which is a facility that provides services for people with disabilities. 

"She was an outstanding employee, had an excellent rapport with the clients here, enjoyed her work, and the families just thought the world of her, because she cared so much for the individuals that she worked for," says Don Hackett, Executive Director of Dove Pointe.

Fellow nurses say "she will make a great nurse one day."

However, the vigil, only one day after the incident, was not just in Kristen's honor, but for all of those involved, including Charles Abott, 19, of Hebron, who goes by "CJ". He was not a Salisbury University student, but many believe he is responsible for saving Kristen's life.

"He was a guy who would put himself in front of something for someone to protect them," says Ray Nordstrom, Abbott's boss at Courtesy Chevrolet Cadillac in Salisbury. "I think that's exactly what he did."

The shooting is still under investigation, but for now, the Salisbury "gull" community is pulling for Kristen to make a full recovery.

"We want her to keep strong, and we're all staying strong for her, and she's going to be our superhero from now on," says a fellow nursing student.

School officials reported at the vigil that doctors are expecting Loetz to make a full recovery, and could be walking within a week. There is not any word on her cognitive condition, but she was reportedly given a piece of paper and a pencil on Wednesday, and she was able to write to her mother "I love you."

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