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Calgarians honour victims of Brentwood homicides on one year anniversary
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Wednesday, April 15, 2015 5:21AM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 15, 2015 6:45PM MDT
Wednesday marks the one year anniversary of Calgary's worst mass murder and students and Calgarians gathered to remember the fallen five.
Police were called to a home in Brentwood on April 15, 2014 for reports of a stabbing and five young people were found dead inside the residence.
Zackariah Rathwell, Lawrence Hong, Joshua Hunter, Jordan Segura, and Kaiti Perras were murdered during a house party celebrating the end of the school year.
The deaths shocked the community and the five were remembered at a vigil in the community on Tuesday night.
"These were five wonderful youth who we want to remember, we want to honour and knowing that it happened so close to our home, we wanted to do something in our neighbourhood to honour them," said Sara Francis, Vigil Organizer.
Zackariah Rathwell’s mother Ronda-Lee says she has good days and bad and that her son will be remembered for the amazing man he was.
“Zack was an amazing person. He was becoming an amazing man and if it had been me that died, I wouldn’t want him to curl up and die too,” she said. “He left a legacy. In 21 years he left art, he left music, he wrote some amazing things and I try to remember the 21 years we did have.”
She says the day has to be marked but that she prefers to remember the good times.
“This isn’t the day I want to remember all the time, I want to remember his birthday. I want to remember the night of the EP release,” said Rathwell. “I hope the whole thing reminds people to just be kind to each other.”
Kyle Tenove was friends with Zack and Josh and played music in a band with them.
He also went to school with Jordan and Katie and says many of their friends are still trying to come to terms with the loss.
“There’s hard times, like there’s some times where it does get hard to wake up in the morning and really focus on daily life,” said Tenove, “But, for the most part, it’s been a lot more positive. As the year went on, with all the charity work and all that stuff that we did this year, it helped relieve some of the bad feelings we were holding on to.”
Tenove says the support from the community has been overwhelming.
“I really think it’s been a community effort where everyone has looked after each other and if anyone ever needed help, there was somebody,” he said. “April 15 is not an important day at all, in fact it’s the worst day of the year for many of us and the most important thing was that they were great people who did a lot for the community, for their friends, and their memory lives on through all of us.”
Harrison Fleming was Zack’s best friend and says Josh was like an older brother to him.
“It’s really hard to wake up every day and just know that the people that were there for you are just gone, for no reason. It feels like yesterday that they were part of our lives and I don’t think that feeling is ever going to go away,” said Fleming.
The University of Calgary held a vigil on Wednesday morning for students from the U of C, MRU and ACAD.
They also launched the first ever UCalgary Strong initiative, aimed at promoting health and wellness and the goal is to help students deal with the stress that comes with the post-secondary experience.
"We've launched a bystander intervention program which is giving our faculty, staff and students tools to help identify those in need and get them to the services," said U of C President Elizabeth Cannon.
Another vigil is being held on Wednesday at 6: p.m. outside the home where the murders took place.