Students mourn classmate killed on New Year’s Eve

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GREENCASTLE, FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. -- A Franklin County community mourns the kids of a 17-year-old boy, killed on New Years Eve.

Matthew Mitchell allegedly was shot and killed by a fellow classmate, which makes it a difficult time for students.

Officials at Greencastle-Antrim High Sdhooluf made grief counselors available to those students who may need help coping with the loss of a classmate.

The halls of Greencastle-Antrim High School are quieter than usual these days after the death of one of its students.:

Senior and classmate Brandon Barnhart said "they're just not dealing well with it, because we're used to seeing him in the halls, seeing him around the school, even if you didn't know him, you saw him. It's a small school, and I guess it's just not good, it's just sad"

Police charged 15-year-old Taylor Nelson with criminal homicide for allegedly shooting Mitchell while he visiting Nelson's home on New Year's Eve.

"No one ever expected something like this to happen during New Years, I think it was just a horrible way to start off the year, everybody is just depressed," Barnhart said.

Mitchell's sister Hanna set up a gofundme page online to help her family with the financial costs of planning her brother's funeral, while grief counselors help teens cope with the emotional costs of losing a friend.

Franklin/Fulton Mental Health program specialist Cori Seilhamer said "parents, teachers, role models, to validate kids feelings, to acknowledge that they may have feelings, remember that we all respond to traumatic events and stress differently."

Franklin/Fulton Mental Health is one place which can help those in the community recognize and manage grief.

"Pay attention to what your kids are eating. Make surely that they are eating, even if it's small amounts, or drinking, listen to them, acknowledge that they do have feelings," Seilhamer said.

Talking and sharing memories may help some deal with their loss.

"He was a great kid, scholastically, and overall he's just a great kid, great smile, great attitude, personality, he's a great kid, and it's just a sad story" Barnhart said.