A bond holding them together: NIU community mourns graduate, student killed in Aurora

 
By Kelsey Rettke
DeKalb Chronicle
krettke@shawmedia.com
Updated 2/22/2019 12:27 AM
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  • Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, holds their son Axel during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, holds their son Axel during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Government officials on the state and federal level listen to remarks during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Government officials on the state and federal level listen to remarks during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, wipes a tear during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, wipes a tear during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, wipes a tear during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, wipes a tear during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Northern Illinois University students Abby Roemer, (left) Kelli Tyler and Yousef Judeh speak during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Northern Illinois University students Abby Roemer, (left) Kelli Tyler and Yousef Judeh speak during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, holds their son Axel during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, holds their son Axel during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Northern Illinois University students Abby Roemer, (left) Kelli Tyler and Yousef Judeh share a funny memory about Aurora shooting victim Trevor Wehner during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Northern Illinois University students Abby Roemer, (left) Kelli Tyler and Yousef Judeh share a funny memory about Aurora shooting victim Trevor Wehner during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Terry Bishop, professor in the Department of Management, who taught human resource classes to Aurora shooting victims Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks, speaks during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Wehner and Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Terry Bishop, professor in the Department of Management, who taught human resource classes to Aurora shooting victims Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks, speaks during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Wehner and Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman speaks during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman speaks during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, holds a candle during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

    Abby Parks, wife of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks, holds a candle during the "Standing with Aurora: Honoring our Huskies" vigil remembering the lives of Trevor Wehner and Clay Parks Thursday in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Trevor Wehner

    Trevor Wehner

  • Clayton Parks

    Clayton Parks

Trevor Wehner was so excited to begin his internship at Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora that he told his Northern Illinois University professor, Terry Bishop, about it Thursday, one day before he was slain in a shooting at the plant.

It was Wehner's first day on the job under the leadership of the plant's human resources manager and 2014 NIU graduate Clayton Parks, 32, of Elgin, who was also killed in the Feb. 15 shooting when an employee who was being terminated opened fire in the termination meeting.

More than 300 mourners packed into the Regency Room in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb to lift up the NIU community amid the loss of two of their own during a remembrance vigil.

Parks' wife, Abby, held their baby son, Axel, in her lap throughout the vigil. She sat next to a number of Parks' family members. Wehner's family was not there.

"Going forward, I want you all to feel the bond that is not only holding us together but [Wehner's] hometown community together," said NIU student Kelli Tyler, who eulogized her classmate, and spoke of his funeral held Wednesday.

• This story was reported by the DeKalb Daily Chronicle. Get the full story and series of pictures at www.daily-chronicle.com.

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