SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Hundreds of people gathered at the University of Utah to celebrate Aaron Lowe’s life. He is the University of Utah football player who was shot and killed at a party over the weekend.
As police search for the shooter, Lowe’s former teammates spoke out for the first time since he died.
“I loved Aaron Lowe,” the University of Utah Football Coach Kyle Whittingham says.
The University of Utah football team walked into the vigil all together with students and faculty right behind them. Despite hundreds of people packing into the lawn outside the A. Ray Olpin Student Union Building all at once, it was completely silent.
“Aaron I know you can hear us. And I want to say collectively that we love you,” Whittingham continues. “I’m truly grateful that I’ve had the privilege to coach you. I’ll always keep you in my mind and heart forever.”
It is clear Lowe touched the hundreds of people who attended the vigil Wednesday night in more ways than one.
“Aaron was more than a teammate and best friend. He was my brother. It was like the big brother that I always wanted,” Lowe’s teammate Ja’Quinden Jackson shares.
“That dude was the hardest worker, most compassionate, loving person that I ever knew,” Lowe’s teammate Clark Phillips III explains.
“Aaron was probably the most selfless person I ever knew. Even my big brother wouldn’t come back with five minutes left in a lift to pick me up,” Lowe’s teammate Lacarea Pleasant-Johnson states.
While his teammates grieve the loss, they are choosing to use Lowe as an inspiration for the rest of the football season.
“Aaron is at peace. Aaron can’t feel any more pain. He’s not sad, he’s not angry, he’s at peace. I just ask everybody to stay focused. Sports, use this to drive you guys,” Lacarea Pleasant-Johnson explains.
“I want y’all…everybody here to get 22% better in everything you do. No matter what it is,” Ja’Quinden Jackson said.
The team huddled together as the vigil came to a close and said “A. Lowe on 3. 1,2,3 A. Lowe.“
The University of Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan said he spent a lot of time with Lowe’s mom this week. He said she told him how much Lowe loved the University of Utah.
He said she is at peace knowing God has a plan and that Lowe spent his last day on earth doing what he loved. That is playing a football game in the place he loved, with his teammates who he loved, on national television, which was his dream.