Vigil held for teen hiker killed at Red Rock
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Family and friends of 17-year-old Andrew Sasse joined in a vigil on Wednesday.
They supported each other with hugs, kisses and prayers as they streamed into the recreation center at Shadow Hills Church to share their memories.
Classmate Marisa Herbert said, "Andrew was like the sweetest kid I've ever met."
Fellow church member Kendra Heuer said, "He was funny. Really sweet. Totally awkward, and he was like, a really loveable guy."
Fellow church member Nigel Cutting shared, "He was my friend, you know. We used to go on all these church trips together, and now you just kind of think, he's not gonna be there anymore."
Loved ones say Sasse lived life to the fullest. They described him as an outgoing young man; an honor student who loved sports and the outdoors.
The Bonanza High School senior lost his life in a tragic fall at Red Rock Canyon on Memorial Day while out on a hike with friends.
Those who knew him well are still in shock.
Heuer said, "I'm still really, like, emotional about it. My heart pounds every time I think about it."
Herbert wanted to comfort his parents. She said, " I went to his house yesterday to talk to his family, and it hits hard. It's hard to not realize that he's gone.
Cutting said he wants Sasse's family to know, "Just that everyone's sorry and everyone knows him. He's one of those kids that everyone in high school knows. Really full of life. How everyone's sad."
Mourners also shared a message of hope.
Heuer said, "God has a plan for you. And even though this is happening right now, we know that he's in a better place."
The Sasse family has declined interviews, but released a statement on Tuesday, saying Andrew had a "contagious smile and a zest for life."
Andrew Sasse's memorial service is planned for Saturday, June 8 at Shadow Hills Church.