Candles gleamed in a courtyard on ASU’s Tempe campus as ASU student Zachary Marco’s family, friends and peers wore sorrowful faces at a vigil in his honor Wednesday night.
About 100 people mourned together, exactly one month after Zachary Marco was shot and killed while walking home from the Tempe campus.
The vigil ceremony was hosted by Barrett, the Honors College on the Tempe campus.
“Zachary is a Barrett student, so we’re all affected,” said Mark Jacobs, dean of the honors college. “We’re just a very close knit group and we’re almost like a family. We consider this a loss of a family member.”
Jacobs spoke to the heavy-hearted crowd and shared his memories of Marco.
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By Arielle Hurst and Cassondra Strande
He talked about how he and his staff advised Marco, and it was evident that Marco had a bright future ahead of him as he studied for law school.
Marco’s father, Dan Marco, and two sisters, Michelle and Katie, also participated in the event.
Michelle Marco played the guitar as one of her friends sang three songs. The last song they played was one they wrote earlier this week about Zachary Marco.
“It’s just like what kind of person he was and how much we miss him,” Michelle Marco said.
Dan Marco said ASU has been very supportive since the day his son was shot.
“I know the school takes a lot of heat now and then, but in this instance I have no complaints,” Dan Marco said.
The University also donated $10,000 to the Silent Witness Fund, a Tempe tip hotline, to encourage support of the program that offers rewards to tippers who help police find suspects.
ASU’s support has been phenomenal, Dan Marco said, and he appreciates how the whole community responded.
“Everyone was brokenhearted about it and I appreciate everyone’s reaction,” he said.
Zachary Marco’s other sister, Katie Marco, is a kinesiology sophomore on compassionate withdrawal, which excuses her from her classes this semester. She plans to return to ASU next semester. She also gave a speech at the vigil.
“[The vigil] is just to talk about him and keep his memory alive,” she said. “It’s kind of weird without him here.”
She and her sister agreed that the support from ASU has been very helpful.
“It would have been a lot harder to get through some of this stuff without the support of the school,” Michelle Marco said.
Other students and members of the community who didn’t know Zachary Marco came out to pay their respects.
Political science senior Scott Tippett said he had just met Zachary Marco this semester, but did not know him that well.
“He’s a member of the Sun Devil community,” Tippett said.
Dan Marco decided to start a fund in his son’s honor called the Zachary Marco Foundation. Nick Pietro, a friend of Zachary’s, is helping Dan Marco with this foundation.
They are selling wristbands and accepting donations to raise money for the foundation.
The foundation is designed to help families who have lost loved ones in similar situations pay for funerals, Pietro said.
They are also starting a scholarship as part of the foundation, he said. It will be available to both political science and law students.
“You gotta change the world and that’s what [Zachary] was trying to do,” Pietro said.
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