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Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday to remember 14-year-old Zoe Galasso, one of the victims of last week's Washington state school shooting that left three other students dead and two injured. "It was not like a funeral," attendee Carrie Edmond said of the memorial service at Word of Life Church in Marysville, north of Seattle. "It was a celebration of life."
Galasso was sitting with her friends in the cafeteria of Marysville Pilchuck High School on Oct. 24 when the 15-year-old gunman, Jaylen Fryberg, opened fire. Galasso was fatally struck in the head before the shooter — who was cousins with two of the victims — took his own life, police said. A motive for the rampage hasn't been given. Another victim, Gia Soriano, 14, died last Sunday, and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, also 14, died Friday night — just hours before Galasso's service.
"Zoe was a vibrant 14-year-old, beautiful, always laughing and sweet," Edmond said. An obituary posted on the website of Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home said Galasso was an animal-lover who enjoyed road trips and live music. She also played various sports, but enjoyed soccer the most.
Galasso's mother, Michelle Galasso, expressed her gratitude on Facebook for the "outpouring of love," adding: "My baby was loved by so many." A fund set up for the Galasso family has raised nearly $30,000. "It's a small community, everyone cares," said Tyler Norman, who was at the memorial service Saturday.
Other attendees also said the deaths of the four teens has rattled the tiny town not used to heartbreak on such a wide scale. "We have a small community. We've been close," said mourner Terry DeRushé, "but this is bringing us even closer."
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