Terrebonne high school brings in 16 grief counselors

HOUMA, LA (WVUE) - For Hezekiah Williams, the last 24 hours have been tough.

"It's like a missing piece to the puzzle," said Williams. "He's not here, he's gone - can't get him back."

Williams grew up with 14-year-old Cameron Tillman. Both Teens went to Ellender Memorial High School where the Terrebonne Parish School Superintendent, Philip Martin, says many students are struggling with the news.

"It's a very somber mood, very quiet," said Martin. "Much quieter than a normal school day. Kids are trying to absorb it all."

The district has asked an extra 16 counselors and four staff members to be on call. Martin says they'll stay as long as they need too.

"With teens, it impacts them in different ways. I think most importantly someone to talk with them, console them, support them, are the primary things that need to be done right now."

It's not just students who now are reeling from the news. Cheramie Jupiter taught Tillman at Oaklawn Jr. High.

"I just can't believe something this horrific has happened to such a beautiful student," said Jupiter.

State Police are investigating the shooting. They say two Terrebonne Parish deputies were responding to reports of a burglary. State Police say when they got there, they had a run in with a group of teens, and Tillman was shot and killed.

Jupiter says that sounds nothing like the student who sat in her classroom a year ago.

"Cameron was never disrespectful. He was always polite, humble, he did what he was suppose to do in school," said Jupiter.

Williams says it's been confusing for him too, as he remembers his friend.

"He was funny, a clown," said Williams. "He was a good kid."

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