Hundreds attend vigil for young suicide victim

Published: Dec. 18, 2013 at 4:50 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2013 at 4:50 AM EST
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SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - Hundreds of people packed Jeffords Park in downtown Sylvester Tuesday night to honor 13 year-old Dustin Hammonds.

The Worth County Middle School student was taken off life support Monday afternoon at an Atlanta hospital after shooting himself last week. Friends say he was bullied.

Organizers of the vigil hope to use Dustin's death to help other victims of bullying. Haley Patterson said, "Just know that you're not alone, um, there's always someone there who's willing to listen, willing to help. Suicide is not the answer. There are people there for you."

One of Dustin's friends said more needs to be done to prevent bullying in schools. "People need to start being aware that bullying is happening in Worth County schools," said Thomas Paramore.

The vigil included a moment of silence, lighting of candles and a siren salute by the fire department.

People were also encouraged to report bullying by dropping anonymous notes into a box.

There's an account in Dustin's name at Heritage Bank to help pay for his funeral.

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