Arizona students gather to remember victims of Texas school shooting

PHOENIX – More than 100 people on Monday lit candles and silently placed flowers outside the Arizona Capitol to memorialize the eight students and two teachers gunned down Friday at Santa Fe High School near Galveston, Texas.

The families, students, activists and faith leaders stood as high school students took turns describing the victims.

“I get to speak for them. I get to let others know who they were and how beautiful they are, because they’re so beautiful,” said Yamile Martinez, who attends Metro Tech in Phoenix.

March for Our Lives Arizona, a student-led group that demands greater protections against gun violence, organized the vigil. Jordan Harb, the group’s executive director, said he knew what it was like to be one of those students at Santa Fe.

“I have a personal connection to them because I go to school, and I’m scared,” said Harb, who attends Mountain View High in Mesa.

The students also called on Gov. Doug Ducey to call a special session of the Legislature to address gun violence.

“Something I would tell (the victims and their families) is that this is not over,” Martinez told the crowd. “(I would tell them) to continue with life. To have faith. And to take action.”

Abby Rosenbaum, 9, and Andrew Rosenbaum, 12, listen as local faith leaders call for action against gun violence in schools. (Photo by Ellen O'Brien/Cronkite News)

Itzel Valenzuela waits for sunset to hold vigil for the 10 victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting. (Photo by Ellen O'Brien/Cronkite News)

Jordan Harb, executive director of March for Our Lives Arizona, lights a candle at the vigil he helped organize. “I have a personal connection to (the victims) because I go to school, and I’m scared,” he said. (Photo by Ellen O’Brien/Cronkite News)

More than 100 people gathered Monday at the Arizona Capitol to commemorate the victims of the latest mass murder at an American school. (Photo by Ellen O'Brien/Cronkite News)

Claire Wiener sits by the memorial for victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting. The flowers were later donated to a local hospital. (Photo by Ellen O'Brien/Cronkite News)

Andrew Rosenbaum, 12, relights a candle that was blown out by the wind. (Photo by Ellen O’Brien/Cronkite News)

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