More than a thousand people came together Friday to mourn the lives of two Watertown siblings who police say were shot and killed by their mother’s boyfriend before he turned the gun on himself.
Community members said they wanted to make sure the focus of Friday’s gathering was on the teen.
The start of the vigil was delayed because of the hundreds and hundreds of people getting bussed to Veterans Memorial Park to remember Sterling and Della Jette.
The inseparable siblings were the lights of so many lives. The Watertown sky was lit in honor of them.
Police said Sterling and Della were killed Tuesday by their mother’s boyfriend after an argument about him smoking in their home escalated.
In the same home three years ago, the siblings’ father took his own life.
Friday, those close to the teens described them as kinder and wiser beyond their years.
“Della was there to keep us safe and out of trouble as we made our crazy and stupid memories,” sand friend Antonio Fusco.
Sterling was an 11th grader studying plumbing and heating.
“We have about a million memories together. Whether it was watching the entire fast and furious series together in one night. And yes, the entire series.,” Garrett Kowalski said.
Those who knew him described Sterling as a tinkerer who enjoyed fixing up and having fun on dirt bikes and tractors surrounded by friends.
“Another memory I have is sending a tractor full speed down Bella Vista Drive,” Kowalski said.
Della was a 10th grader training in the electrical trade. One of her friend groups dubbed the “Three Musketeers” will forever be missing one of their members.
“Being the mom of our group, Della would spend the time making us all family dinners. At these dinners we wouldn’t have our phones, we’d pray before we ate and it created a routine for us and something We grew to enjoy together,” explained Tori Guerrera and Jordan Hurley.
“I’ll miss seeing the joy and happiness she brought to my daughter every day. Della, I love you and I always will,” said Tim Fisher, whose daughter Shay was good friends with Della.
Sterling and Della were thriving teens overcoming their own tragedy. Now their loved ones and the hundreds of people who gathered are missing the light they brought to so many lives.
“It made me who I am today. You two will be forever missed by everyone. I love you guys so much,” Shay Fisher said.
Kaynor Technical High School, where the siblings were students, is planning an athletic, plumbing, and electrical scholarship in their honor.
The wake and funeral are planned for next week.