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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Cathedral Catholic students and staff mourn the loss of their teacher at vigil

The crowd that gathered at Monday night's vigil for Mario prayed and sang the song “Lean on Me” to lift each other up.

SAN DIEGO — Students and staff at a San Diego Catholic high school are mourning the loss of one of their teachers. Police say 37-year Mario Fierro was shot and killed in North Park Monday morning. A vigil was held in his honor Monday night. 

“I think he taught all of us what it means to come together as a family, as a team, as a community,” a youth minister said at the vigil. 

Mario Fierro was remembered as a leader at Cathedral Catholic High. Fierro graduated from University of San Diego High School in 2002 when it was located in Linda Vista. The school was renamed Cathedral Catholic when it moved north to its Carmel Valley campus in 2005. Hundreds of people came out to St. Therese of Carmel Catholic Church to remember him.

“He’s not gone, but we need to just believe that he’s living on in our hearts. He’s living on forever and we are his family. He will never die because he’ll always be everlasting in heaven with God and with us,” said Kellen Larry, a student at Cathedral Catholic High School.

The crowd that gathered for Mario prayed and sang the song “Lean on Me” to lift each other up. 

San Diego Police said about 7:10 a.m. Monday morning they responded to calls of shots fired on Kansas Street in North Park. There they found Fierro who had been shot. Police say they have very few leads about the suspect but this is what they do know. 

RELATED: Cathedral Catholic High school teacher dies in apparent homicide, suspect still at large

“He’s described as a Hispanic male, maybe in his 40s and we’ve got some conflicting information about what kind of vehicle he was in,” said Lieut. Andra Brown, with the San Diego Police Homicide Unit. 

A spokesperson for the Diocese says classes will be canceled until Thursday at Cathedral Catholic High School and grief counseling will be available for students, faculty and staff.

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