By Steve Large

PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – A middle school campus held a candlelight vigil for a 13-year-old boy who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

It was a somber setting for a middle school campus built to shape young minds. It was a scene to mend hearts as hundreds showed up to grieve the loss of Mason Hanaway, a lanky kid his friends said was funny.

He died Monday after a self-inflicted gunshot. Sheriff’s deputies haven’t ruled whether it was an accident or suicide, but his classmates now believe bullying may have played a role.

“Yes, he was bullied,” friend Jayklynn Burns said. “He was bullied for the way he acted or the way he looked, or the way he talked.”

“He told me that people make fun of him just sometimes, but he said it didn’t really bother him to much,” friend Karly Dales said.

Parents are struggling with the loss.

“If I had only known, I would have given you words of encouragement,” parent Kathy Lyman read.

It was a poem she wrote for Hanaway.

“I showed it to my daughter today and the bigger thing was she had just talked to him on Monday, and I said ‘would you have told someone if you had known?’ and she said ‘yes.’ And, so that’s why I wrote it,” she said.

It’s a heartbreaking loss. Now this school community is coming together for a lesson no one wanted to plan for.

“He should still be here, not away from us. We all really, really miss him,” said Burns.

Grief councilors have been on campus helping students and staff.


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