CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Family, friends and classmates gathered at the Chesapeake Walmart parking lot in memory of the youngest victim of Tuesday night’s mass shooting, 16-year-old Fernando Jesus Chavez.
Yellow tape and Virginia State Police lined the perimeter as dozens stood in prayer, all holding white star balloons.
A GoFundMe created by Chavez’s family says he was an 11th grade honors student who just learned how to drive and was excited about his first job at Walmart.
Chesapeake Public Schools confirmed he attended Oscar Smith High School.
Principal Paul Joseph said in addition to the school’s guidance counselors, grief counselors and crisis counselors are being made available to students and staff the week of Nov. 28.
It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that one of our Tigers, Fernando Chavez-Barron passed away Tuesday night during the mass shooting at the Walmart in Chesapeake. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time. I also offer condolences to all the Oscar Smith High School students and staff members, especially Fernando’s classmates, teachers, and support staff.Message from Oscar Smith H.S. Principal Paul Joseph
Fernando’s family and community says they are heartbroken.
The group stood by a tree closest to the store’s front entrance and recited Hail Mary on the rosary, the prayer serving as an act of comfort in a time of immense tragedy.
“This holy rosary will heal, for that soul, this close to our community,” recited a member of the community in Spanish.
There will be community-wide vigil held by the City of Chesapeake on Monday, November 28 at 6 p.m. at Chesapeake City Park.