Chris Stone, who was among 10 people killed in the Santa Fe High School (Texas) shooting last year, received his diploma posthumously Friday night.
The diploma was presented to the family of Stone, who was a football player at the school, according to Click2Houston. Another student who had died in an unrelated incident, who the outlet did not name, also received a diploma.
“Never let the world forget who Chris Stone was,” salutatorian Madison Cantrell said during the ceremony, according to Click2Houston.
“Carry his memory along with you in this life showing the world what he was all about.”
On May 18, 2018, a student open fired on classmates, according to KHOU11. The suspect, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, admitted to the shooting.
Stone was killed in his first period art class. He was 16 years old.
Angelica Stone, one of Chris’ sisters, recounted the tragedy to KHOU11.
“We were told by a student that was with him, that Chris was trying to escape the room. Didn’t succeed. But he did go into a closet with other kids and he was the one to help hold the door closed. And (the suspect) did shoot the door and it hit my brother.
“The boy that was telling us, he stayed and he prayed with him. So my brother wasn’t alone, and I will always be grateful for that,” Stone said, and paused with emotion. “Many kids are saying that if it weren’t for Chris, the other kids in the room probably would have been dead as well.”
During the graduation ceremony Friday, the victims of the shooting were remembered as attendees stood to honor them and everyone affected by the shooting.
Santa Fe Principal Rachel Blundell gave words of advice and encouragement.
“The things you have lived through you cannot change,” she said, according to Click2Houston. “However, the outcome and what you become is completely up to you.”