CHESHIRE — Hundreds gathered Saturday on the Cheshire High School football field to remember and honor Christopher A. Settembri, who was shot and killed by his father on Tuesday.
Lisa Clausen, her daughter Amber Clausen and Olivia Monroe were at the football field early to set up for the vigil. Lisa Clausen said her daughter knew Christopher A. Settembri from school, and her daughter knew Isabella Gozzo, who died in a car crash earlier this month.
“It’s hard as a mom to watch these kids suffer,” Lisa Clausen said.
Christopher P. Settembri, 48, fatally shot his son Christopher A. Settembri Tuesday afternoon in a downstairs bedroom of their Cornwall Avenue home before taking his own life in an upstairs bathroom, police said. Holly Settembri found the bodies of her husband and son at about 3:45 p.m. when she got home from work. The family also includes three daughters who go to school locally, Police Chief Neil Dryfe said. Christopher A. Settembri graduated from Cheshire High School in June.
Police said at the time of the shooting there was no note and declined to speculate on the father’s motive.
A photograph of Christopher A. Settembri was set up, and those attending the vigil placed flowers and a skateboard underneath the phoo. A book was on a small table for anyone to sign and write a memory of Christopher A. Settembri. Lisa Clausen said the book would then be given to Holly Settembri after the vigil. Groups waited at the table to write in the book. Holly Settembri and her daughters attended the vigil.
The vigil began with a slide show of Christopher A. Settembri’s life. A gofundme.com page has also been set up for the Settembri family. As the teens, parents and younger children gathered on the field, memories of Christopher A. Settembri were shared.
“He was the funniest person you ever met,” said Moira Duglenski, who graduated with Christopher A. Settembri.
Monroe shared a memory of walking to McDonald’s after a half day off from school, and of Christopher making the whole group of friends laugh the entire time. A short time into the vigil a teenager standing near the front passed out briefly, and was attended to by a Cheshire police officer. The teen was able to recover and stay at the vigil.
Caileigh Donnelly had the idea to make a scrapbook of memories and positive thoughts for one of Christopher A. Settembri’s sisters that she is friends with.
The book will be given to her on Christmas, Donnelly said. Therapy dogs from Soul Friends of Wallingford and K-9 first responders were also at the vigil for anyone who needed them. Blue balloons were passed around and at one moment during the vigil all the balloons were released. Courtney Goggin spoke to the gathered crowd, saying the town has had a lot of tragedy recently. Another friend shared a memory of running around Westfield Meriden Mall with Christopher A. Settembri, and the whole crowd broke out into laughter.
A few of the teens that spoke said they were sure Christopher A. Settembri was a good friend to everyone and was most likely looking down on them and smiling.
Read more articles like this and help support local journalism by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access just 99¢
Read more articles like this by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access for just 99¢