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Prayer service held for Bishop Timon student killed in Buffalo shooting

Paul Humphrey died in a shooting Saturday night on Briscoe Avenue

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Flanked by football players, Father James Monaco led prayers for Paul Humphrey, on the front steps of Bishop Timon-Saint Jude High School.

The 17-year-old's family and friends were positioned immediately in front of the podium.

Before and after the vigil there was plenty of tears and hugs... several appeared visibly stunned.

However, they weren't alone in their pain. Dozens of students, staff, parents, and neighbors showed up to the prayer vigil on the school's front lawn, to offer their support.

"Timon is a family," said principal, Dr. James Newton, in an interview following the vigil, "and this is very heartbreaking for all of the students and of course for us."

"Timon isn't the biggest school," said recently graduated senior, John Glascoe, who came out to the vigil. "(I) see the kid every single day and he's in a couple of my classes and it's really sad to see a kid that had such a positive nature...he was just such a good kid."

Paul would have been a junior in the fall.

But, just after midnight on Saturday, he was shot on Briscoe Avenue near Walden.

MORE: Bishop Timon-St. Jude student dies in Briscoe Avenue shooting

It's still not clear why. Buffalo Police had no updates to release to the media on Monday.

"We're leaning on each other right now," said Athletic Director, Joe Licata. "There's nothing in any manual to teach you how to deal with this stuff."

Sad, angry, confused... just a few words Licata used to describe how his football team is reacting to this loss. Students and teachers say Paul Humphrey was known for his smile, sense of humor, and his love of football.

"He played running back for us. He played a little bit of slot receiver for us," explained Licata. "On offense, we tried to find ways to get him the ball because he was special when he had it in his hands."

"I'd be like, Paul-man," remembers Glascoe, becoming soft-spoken, remembering a common interaction with his friend. "'You gonna put these touchdowns in next week, right dude?' He's like, 'Johnny-boy, I got you, man...I got you.'"

A teammate carried Paul's #2 jersey at the vigil. Licata says the other jersey will go to Paul's mother, "I spoke to his mother last night. And all she wanted was his white jersey...to bury him in his white jersey. That right there, is just, you know...very telling and speaks to the power of his brotherhood here."

The number two is now posted out front of the high school on a sign that reads "RIP PAUL NO. 2". On Paul's prayer card, distributed at the vigil

The school's new motto, "Our Community 2gether."

"We're going to put his number on our helmets this year," adds the Athletic Director. "We're going to put his initials on our jersey. He's going to be with us."

After the vigil, the principal welcomed those who came out to come inside the school where there were several counselors available for whoever might need them.

"Right now we have counselors from several districts that are here...social workers," explain Dr. Newton. "So, if the students do need counseling of any kind, then these people are here for them."

The principal told reporters Monday that they'll make counselors available for as long as the students might need them.

Bishop Timon football practice officially starts in mid-August. Licata told reporters that the team still plans to participate in a small football camp starting Tuesday, partially to regain some normalcy and also to keep on going, in Paul's honor.