There was an incredibly emotional moment at the graduation for Wethersfield High School on Friday.
A mother accepted an honorary diploma for her son, Vincent Basile.
Basile died during his junior year after police said he was shot by another teen.
“When you have a child and picture the moment of them graduating, I just pictured him there with a bright light on him,” said Lorena Frusciante, Basile's mother.
“It was amazing. I think it’s awesome that the teachers and everybody let her do that for him,” said Victoria Unick, a friend of Basile’s.
In November 2017, Basile, a Wethersfield High junior, was killed.
Police said Noah Hendron was playing with a gun, pointed it at Basile and fired a shot.
He’s pleaded not guilty to charges including murder and awaits trial.
Now more than a year after the death of Basile, the yearbook has a page in memory of the boy who would have turned 18 in about two weeks.
“He was just an overall nice person. He wasn’t mean to anyone. Cared about everyone,” said Abby Sywenkyj, a friend of Basile’s.
And his family, his friends and the community showed their support at the graduation where Basile would have received his diploma.
“I know he’s here. I believe there’s an afterlife. I’m very spiritual. He keeps me going with signs,” said Frusciante.
His mom says the diploma will become part of a shrine to her son in her home.
A reminder of his caring soul and all his dreams once he left high school.
“It makes me sad. It’s bittersweet because he should be here. And it makes me sad because this isn’t the last kid that’s going to be lost through gun violence,” said Frusciante.
No word yet when a trial in the case will take place.