Several dozen people gathered at Hiddenite Elementary School Friday afternoon to pay tribute to siblings Angel and America Pacheco, two students who authorities say were killed last weekend along with their mother, Maria Calderon.

The vigil included remarks from Principal Charles Draper and five pastors.

Draper said the death of the two students and their mother was devastating and the school community would be there to support the family.

The Rev. Durant Barr read some remembrances of Angel, 11, and America, 12, from their teachers.

One of the teachers described Angel as goofy and funny. “(He) could be very mischievous at times, but in a good way,” the teacher wrote. “He had a grin about him that would make anyone smile.”

Angel was passionate about soccer and wanted to be a pastor when he grew up, according to the statement.

America was described as a person who was “kind, friendly to everyone (and) never wanted anyone to feel left out.”

“If she met you one time, you were a friend for a lifetime.”

Family members of the siblings were present at the vigil. At one point, the pastors laid their hands on Estaban Pacheco, the father of the siblings, as they prayed for him.

Community members were given the opportunity to write messages of support for the family. At the end of the ceremony, students, teachers and families placed flowers by photos of the children.

Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.

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