Friends, family hold vigil for high school student who died after a shooting in Monessen

MONESSEN, Pa. — The 9th Street Park was packed with family and friends of Amari Altomore who died after he was shot in Monessen.

Altomore was shot on South 14th Street on Tuesday. He was taken to a hospital but died a short time after.

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Countless mourners consoled one another during a vigil Thursday night.

Those who knew Altomore best spoke during the vigil, including his family.

Many who spoke said the expected nature of Altomore’s death hurts like nothing they had ever felt before.

“He was like a big teddy bear off the field,” said Wade Brown, Altomore’s football coach. “We really enjoyed having him on our team and it’s really heartbreaking that he won’t be with us anymore. We are really going to miss him.”

Altomore’s coaches remembered him as cheerful and said he was known to play tricks, cheer up his teammates at a moment’s notice and always came to practice with a smile.

Vernon Andres, another coach for the Monessen Greyhounds said the mourning process has been hard, but the sense of community is strong.

“Us as coaches, pulling the boys together, it will be a rough process but we will get through it. We have been up here two years and we have had the community behind our back,” said Andrews.

The coaches said grief counseling is available for students at Monessen High School.

Funeral arrangements have not been made at this time.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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