CARROLLTON (CSBDFW.COM) – More than 200 Carrollton students gathered Sunday night for a candle light vigil in memory of 16-year-old Gerson Lagunez.
The Newman Smith High School junior died Friday when he collapsed while walking home after playing a game of Ultimate Frisbee.
The cause of his death is still unclear, but family members said Lagunez had a heart murmur that could have played a role.
For more than an hour Sunday night, while standing in the parking lot where the high school’s marching band practices, friends and family members gathered in a large circle and shared stories.
Lagunez played the trombone in the high school band, ran cross-country, was on the honor-roll, and was an active member of his church.
Florencia Marsico said in addition to all his accomplished, Lagunez was always looking out for other people.
“I remember when he use to share his lunch with me my senior year because I didn’t have any lunch because I was too broke,” she said at the vigil.
Several of his friends referred to Lagunez’s conviction to his Christian faith as inspiring.
His older sister, Xiadani Lagunez, was among those who said they wanted to be more like him.
“He was a great boy,” said the tearful sister. “He was going to become something beyond belief, and I knew that because I wanted to be like him.”
Lagunez’s parents also attended the vigil.
Afterwards his father, Enoc Lagunez, said he was grateful for all the students who came but was not surprised with what they said.
“I was so proud of him,” said his father. “He worked hard to do the best he could do.”
A memorial service for the teenager is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:00pm at Cornerstone Christian Church in Farmers Branch.
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