Middle school class loses 2 students to separate tragedies in same week
LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) – A middle school class in Las Vegas is mourning the loss of two students in one week.
Somerset Academy Lone Mountain said on July 17, Sofia Molina was murdered. Just two days later, the school received news that they lost another student, Viktoria Salazar, to bone cancer.
Both girls were just 12 years old and would be entering seventh grade next month.
Las Vegas police said Sofia is the victim of a murder-suicide involving her father, 42-year-old police officer Israel Molina. Police said he shot Sofia, his wife, and his son before killing himself. The wife and son survived with injuries.
The school held a candlelight vigil Friday to honor the girls.
Principal Cesar Tiu said he knew he had to do something to remember both students.
“We want to make sure we honor them, we celebrate them, celebrate their lives, what a great way for our community to come together and mourn as one,” Tiu said.
Tiu also said the school set up support groups for the other students.
“Death can be very, very hard for my middle school students especially, and so we wanted them to get the support that they need,” Tiu said.
Both Sofia and Viktoria’s mothers attended the vigil. A line of friends, teachers, family and students formed to give their condolences and support.
Maddie Osborn, a friend of Viktoria’s, said she is going to miss her friend, who Maddie described as a leader.
“I’m going to miss her being around. I’m going to miss her confidence. I’m going to miss being her friend,” Maddie said through tears.
Classes at Somerset Academy Lone Mountain are set to begin Aug. 10.
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