Posted on June 11, 2014 at 2:25 PM
(CNN) -- The 14-year-old victim of Tuesday's school shooting in Oregon was a sweet kid who sometimes put on a tough front, friends said.
Emilio Hoffman was shot in a locker room at Reynolds High School in Troutdale.
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The motive of the shooter, who police have not identified, remains unknown. The shooter was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted wound elsewhere at the school.
Almost as soon as the news spread that Hoffman was the victim, a candlelight vigil was quickly organized for that night.
Hundreds of students and parents showed up Tuesday night to remember the teen, who was a standout soccer player.
Hoffman's parents attended the vigil. They wept as the mass of people circled around them, trying to give them comfort, singing songs of praise and hope.
"He was a sweet boy," friend Savannah Rowe told CNN. "He acted all cool around his friends, but when you got to know him he was just sweet and always there for you if you needed someone to talk to."
They got to know each other in middle school, and they were in choir together, Rowe said. They still passed each other in the hallway, memories of cutting up in class stirring behind friendly glances.
Hoffman "didn't deserve what he got," a close friend, Kaylah Ensign, told CNN affiliate KGW.
As soon as the lockdown was lifted, Hoffman was the first person she tried to reach by phone, she said.
When she got no answer, she joined Hoffman's mother, and together they continued their search. It was then that they learned that the young man had been shot dead.
"I wish I could have said goodbye, or told him how much he meant to me, but I know he knows," Ensign said.
He was the person who could make Ensign smile on her hardest days.
"He's just so amazing and great, and it really hurts to know that I'm going to wake up tomorrow and he's not going to be here," she said.
Student Cody Gleason was close to the where the shooting happened, and he heard and watched it unfold. He heard the shots, which he initially mistook for firecrackers, and then saw people running.
That morning, he was supposed to see Hoffman in a class where he was his teacher's assistant.
"He was a great kid, I loved him," Gleason said. "He was always respectful to his teachers. He was a great student."
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