HOBART, Ind. (WLS) -- The community in Hobart, Ind., united in grief to remember Olivia Hummel, 9, who was killed inside her home after police said the gun her father was holding discharged and struck her in the head.
Children scrawled memorial notes to Olivia. Adults said it was a lesson you shouldn't have to teach to elementary school students.
"It's kind of sad to see her face on the walls, but happy to see that people know who she is," said her classmate Chandler Allen.
Olivia died suddenly Saturday night inside her home. Police said her father had been showing Olivia and her siblings a gun when it discharged a bullet, hitting her in the head.
"It's very sad she died in not a peacefully way," Chandler said.
"This was not easy for all of us to tell them," said Angie Vera, cheerleading coach.
Olivia's cheerleading squad wore blue bows - Olivia's favorite color - and her mom took hugs and walked the track with company, gripping a candle with a picture of Olivia. The collective mourning was vital to the community.
"It gave all of them a little understanding of the situation and what kind of things we have to live with now in our lives," Vera said.
"With something like this we've opened up our doors, brought in counselors, we have given parents advice on how to handle it with their children," said Kacey Allen, principal of Joan Martin School.
Olivia's father, Eric Hummel, is in jail charged with neglect, battery and reckless homicide. Pictures of the smiling 9-year-old redhead were splashed across the walls, reminding everyone of Olivia's young spunk.
Community remembers Hobart girl, 9, shot by father
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