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Community holds vigil for 16-year-old killed in Bicentennial Park shooting

“Just respect human life. Put the guns down.”

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An entire community came out to show their support on Thursday evening for Olivia Kurtz, the 16-year-old girl shot and killed over the weekend at Bicentennial Park

Many showed up. Some brought red balloons.  

Red was Kurtz's favorite color.  

Her friends would say that color is just as vibrant as her personality was.

Hazel Davis is Kurtz's friend, Alisha’s, mother. She says the teen was, “goofy,” and a great friend to her daughter. 

“They'd just show up out of nowhere,” she said. 

“I'd come home and see them in my daughter's room."

Davis said Alisha was next to Kurtz when she was shot at the park late Saturday night.  

Days later, she and her daughter are still coming to terms with what happened, 

"[I] just took them to the zoo and now we here,” she said.  

“It's been hard. My daughter's really not herself no more. She's going to need a lot of help.” 

Joined by others who knew Kurtz, even those who worked with her at the Donatos in Downtown Columbus, Davis looked on as candles were lit while music played to honor her life. 

The event ended in a balloon release in Kurtz's memory. 

Still raw, Davis hopes others will see what happened at Bicentennial Park and learn to, “just respect human life. Put the guns down."

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