EAST BEND, N.C. (WNCN) — Classmates this weekend remembered a North Carolina teenage girl who died Thursday evening in a shooting.
Norah Smitherman, 17, who was a student at Forbush High School, was found dead after 8 p.m. at a home on Gospel Way Church Road, southeast of Yadkinville.
Saturday night, hundreds of fellow high school students gathered to remember Norah, who was on the volleyball and softball teams.
At a Forbush High School football game against North Surry, which had been delayed from Friday night, people held purple balloons and later released them. Signs created by teammates along with flowers also lined the area.
“It just feels like a nightmare. It’s hard to wrap your mind around. It’s just hard to believe,” said Chase Smitherman.
Norah’s loved ones told WGHP the shooting was a freak accident.
Fellow teammates said Norah was hardworking and kindhearted — and could light up any room.
“If you needed anything you could go to her,” said Emily Webb, who was on the volleyball team with Norah. “She put in so much effort to play. She was amazing. She was the most sweetest person I’ve ever met. I will always remember her.”
The Forbush High football team also carried purple balloons to honor Norah as they took the field. The school’s rock was also painted to remember Norah. Cheerleaders wore purple ribbons in their hair.
“Every time she walked in a room, she lit it up. She was a friend with everybody,” said Payton Lyon.
School officials plan to have counselors on hand Monday to provide help to students.
“In times like this, you want to make sure that if students need to talk to someone that you have someone available for them to talk to. That’s just part of the process of grieving,” Yadkin County Schools Superintendent Todd Martin said.
— WGHP contributed to this report