Lauren McCluskey, a University of Utah student, was shot and killed last Monday night.
The on-campus organization, It’s On Us Utah, had originally planned an event to help bring awareness to domestic violence. They never imagined that they would be remembering the life of a student.
“Who plans something like this to happen to a friend?” one of Lauren’s friends said.
Lauren was shot by her ex-boyfriend, Melvin Rowland, when she was walking home from campus Monday night.
Another friend added, “Sadly this all could have been avoided. I wish that when we went to campus police that they would have believed us.”
“We need to understand that this can happen to anyone. We can’t just say it won’t happen,” said a speaker who asked not to be identified.
Students, faculty, and family gathered to give support as some of Lauren’s closest friends shared stories about her life. They said that she was kind, brave, warm-spirited, and confident.
Another one of Lauren’s friends and mentor said, “I think it’s really hard to remember somebody who is so alive when I don’t get to have her right now.”
While honoring Lauren, the vigil emphasized the reality of domestic violence and the need for change.
“We also discussed her previous relationship and how scary it is to love someone who totally fools you,” added that same friend.
The president of It’s On Us Utah concluded, “As former vice president Joe Biden said to me in a conference call this week, ‘We can do this we can change the culture you have the power to end sexual domestic dating and interpersonal violence in one generation.'”
Lauren’s obituary was released on Saturday announcing that her funeral will be November 11 in Pullman, Washington.