Days before he was fatally shot in last Friday’s mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, Jared Black turned 17 years old, according to multiple reports.
He planned to celebrate his birthday with family and friends that Saturday, the New York Times and KTRK report. But what was supposed to be a celebratory week for Jared and his family became a tragic one when Black became one of 10 fatal victims — eight of them students — of the massacre.
“It’s hard,” Jared’s brother, Nick Black, told KTLA. “I still don’t believe it happened. It’s horrible.”
Jared was in first period art class when shots were fired inside the classroom, a man named Travis Stanich wrote on Facebook Friday morning, before he knew Jared was dead.
“He was in the classroom that it started I’m worried sick” Stanich wrote, “Still waiting to find out if Jared is ok.”
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Jared loved art, his family told KTLA. A friend paid tribute to the teen with a Facebook post and picture.
“He was my old friend and I cherish every memory I’ve had with him,” the friend wrote. “He will never be forgotten from me.”
Last summer, Jared spent time with his father, two brothers and stepmother in Southern California, KTLA reports.
“It’s wonderful memories like those that will remain in their hearts forever! I’m thankful for that time they spent,” family friend and spokesperson Elizabeth McGinnis wrote on a GoFundMe page to help Jared’s family.
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McGinnis was with Jared’s father, Bobby, when he learned his son had been killed.
“Such a rough day for all,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“[Bobby] sat in misery for 13 hours not knowing if [Jared] was one of the victims,” McGinnis continued. “Then he got the devastating news after 6 p.m.”
The suspect in the Santa Fe shooting is 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who is being held in the Galveston County Jail without bond on capital murder charges.