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Vigil held for exchange student

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: May 02 2014 11:06:37 PM MDT
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MISSOULA, Mont. -

Friday evening, friends, neighbors and other community members gathered at Fort Missoula Soccer Fields to honor foreign exchange student Diren Dede.

Prosecutors say Dede was shot at after he entered Markus Kaarma’s garage in the Grant Creek neighborhood. Prosecutors say Kaarma had set up a trap to catch would-be burglars.

Friday’s vigil included speeches from Dede’s soccer coach and his host family.

At least 100 people attended the event, holding candles and releasing balloons in the air. Attendees spelled Diren’s name with candles, and a moment of silence was observed.

Organizers say it was important to honor Dede and give him a proper goodbye.

“The vigil was important to me because it showed how many people’s lives Diren touched,” said Madison Bell, one of the organizers.  “It represented how a tragedy brings us together as a community and that is an important message to be sent around the world. Mostly, it is a celebration of an incredible person’s life who did not deserve this. He will always be in our hearts.”