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Friends, Parents Stunned By Deadly School Bus Shooting

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A 13-year-old girl was shot on a school bus in Homestead on Nov. 20, 2012 (Source: CBS4)

A 13-year-old girl was shot on a school bus in Homestead on Nov. 20, 2012 (Source: CBS4)

South Florida Crime

HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – Friends of Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus held a candlelight vigil at the scene where she was shot on the school bus. They wrote messages to her and lay flowers and teddy bears on the sidewalk.

“I was actually shocked to hear her name and death in the same sentence,” said Ariel Paillere. “That’s a 13 year old; any 13 year old and death should not be in the same sentence.”

Paillere’s younger sister Isabel says she and Lourdes were best friends.

“This was a very big shock and it’s just I still can’t believe it was her,” Isabel Paillere said.

She described her friend as “the nicest and sweetest person to be around.” She made the most out of life and that’s what i loved about her and I really do miss her,” she said.

As students of Palm Glades Preparatory Academy were released for the day, news that one of their classmates died after being shot on a school bus slowly trickled across the campus.

“She was really, she was really a special person,” said Priscilla Yanez who said she just can’t believe her friend, 13-year old Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus, is gone.

Yanez said she and Lourdes have been friends since the fourth grade.

“It didn’t matter what happened to her, she was really energetic and she was a really good friend,” said Yanez as she sniffed backed tears.

“Lourdes was a wonderful student,” said Palm Glade’s Principal Minelli Duclerc.

Duclerc called on all students and their parents to keep Lourdes in their thoughts and prayers. It was definitely on the minds of parents who raced to school when the news first broke.

Monica Santana burst into tears when she learned a 13-year-old classmate of her daughter’s was shot on the bus. Others parents and grandparents rushed to be close to their kids wondering how something so awful could happen in a place where kids are supposed to learn, grow and feel safe.

“I still haven’t been able to cope with it and understand what’s going on. Okay, I don’t understand how this can happen,” said Gilberto Canino.

Police say Jordyn Alexander Howe, 15, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm in Guzman-DeJesus’ death. Sources close to the investigation tell CBS4 News that a .40 caliber handgun was also recovered.

Ariel Paillere says she finds little comfort that police say the shooting was accidental. “Accident or not, no one should be bringing guns to school buses, schoools, public places period, so I’m sorry, even if it was an accident, if that bullet wasn’t for her it could’ve been for someone else,” she said.

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