LOS ANGELES — Friends remembered 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell, one of the two students who were killed when a classmate opened fire at a Southern California high school, as a happy teen who radiated positivity and one who would reach out to others in need of a friend.
Two students were killed and three others were injured after a 16-year-old student opened fire in the quad at Saugus High School before most classes began. The shooter fired on five classmates before shooting himself.
Anthony Martinez, a student at Canyon High School, described Dominic as not only his friend and football teammate, but also a brother.
"He was always smiling, making people laugh, spreading positiv[ity], he was the sweetest kid ever and such a good kid," Martinez wrote on Instagram. "We need more people like you in this world."
Wyatt Schooping, 15, said he met Dominic this year in their geometry honors class and quickly became friends.
Schooping, a sophomore, described Dominic as the kind of teen who would reach out to someone in need of a friend.
“I was like kind of lonely and Dominic was one of the only kids to talk to me in that class,” Schooping said, adding that he would hang out with Dominic at brunch and lunch.
“He was such a good kid,” Schooping said. “He always had a joke or something to make you smile. He was just really — he was just a really funny, sweet kid.”
Schooping said Dominic and was a member of the junior ROTC. Schooping said he didn’t know if Dominic wanted to join the army or military later on but said that he loved being a part of ROTC and doing volunteer work.
“Dominic was such a good kid, a wholehearted, happy kid,” the 15-year-old said. “Every day I’d walk into math he would smile. Having him missing puts a hole in everyone’s hearts. He just put life into that class — with him gone, it’s different.”
Dominic had three younger brothers, and they were grieving along with his parents, friends, and other relatives. A GoFundMe was collecting money for his family.
Saugus sophomore class president Victoria Phan, 15, said she'd talk to Dominic almost every day as the two crossed paths in between classes.
"He had the biggest smile on his face every single day," Phan told BuzzFeed News. "He always asked how my day was and he genuinely cared for other people."
Phan said she last saw Dominic on Wednesday, adding that one of the most difficult parts about dealing with the shooting at their school was "knowing that I won't be able to talk to him anymore."