Vigil held for CSU shooting victim Savannah McNealy in Centennial

Posted at 6:11 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 20:11:41-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Hundreds filled DeKoevend Park in Centennial Monday to celebrate the life of CSU senior Savannah McNealy. 

The 22-year-old was a graduate of Highlands Ranch High School and grew up in Douglas County.

"We're all still in shock so healings to come," Melissa Cox, a close family friend said.

The memorial was not about the senseless shooting that took Savannah's life so soon. It was about the vibrant life she lived. 

"Celebrate is the keyword, joy and happiness and fun lots of colors," Cox said. "I don't think she'd be satisfied if there were people in 'mourning.' She lived life, and I think that's what she wants all of us to do."

Several of McNealy's family members spoke at the vigil including her mom, dad and sister. They asked for privacy and did not want to be recorded.

Her sister Kate told the crowd she had forgiven the person who took Savanah away and her father held back tears as he said their family had "suffered a major blow."

Several of McNealy's high school best friends also shared memories saying their lives were decorated by Savannah.

At the end of the memorial, hundreds of bright balloons were released into the sky in Savannah's honor.

"Savannah loved color. The rainbow was her inspiration. She was an artist and very creative," Cox said. "The balloons signify who she was as an individual and the brightness that comes from within."