Classmates remember life and legacy of Pullman woman killed in Utah

Classmates remember life and legacy of Pullman woman killed in Utah

Pullman High School and some of Lauren McCluskey’s old classmates are all in shock.

21-year-old Lauren McCluskey was shot and killed at the University of Utah Monday night, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend. McCluskey graduated from PHS in 2015.

They said, McCluskey was a sweetheart. Not only was she a star athlete, but she also liked to write and sing too.

They can’t believe something so tragic, could happen to someone so beloved.

“It was hard to hear it from somebody you went to high school with, even though you didn’t know her very well. It hits home,” said Victoria Waltz, one of Lauren’s PHS classmates.

Tears are shared throughout the Pullman High School community as they mourn the loss of a fellow Greyhound alumni.

“You’re speechless, you don’t know what to say about it,” Waltz said. “To think that somebody is just – they have that kind of vengeance or is mad about that kind of thing.”

“It’s not that she passed away, it’s that she was killed,” said Kaitlyn Van Vleet, one of Lauren’s PHS classmates.

McCluskey’s schoolmates said they can’t believe the tragedy, especially to someone as successful as her.

“She was a very good student, very academic, she was an amazing all star athlete,” Waltz said.

While she moved to Utah for college, Pullman will was always her hometown. She graduated from PHS with honors.

Her classmates, call her a sweetheart.

“It sounds like a cliche that people pass away and you say that they’re so nice but she really was,” Van Vleet said.

“She was very nice to everybody, she talked to everybody, pretty much could have any conversation with her, didn’t matter what it was about,” Waltz said.

“You kind of look up to her, because she’s athletic and she’s pretty and she’s smart and she’s kind of that person you want to be,” Van Vleet said.

Former Greyhounds said they’ll always remember her for her time on the track and field team, where she was a standout athlete.

“We couldn’t believe how dedicated she was. There were some times on weekends, it was just unbelievable – especially in high school to see that,” Van Vleet said.

That dedication lead her to a spot on the University of Utah’s track team, giving her the opportunity to live her dream.

A dream, sadly cut short.

“[It] brings to light that domestic violence is a real thing and it happens to anybody, whether you’re in small town Pullman, or wherever you are, that it can hit home,” Waltz said.

Lauren’s classmates are holding a candlelight vigil next Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. It will be held at PHS on the track where she spent a lot of her time as a student. Lauren’s family will be there, candles will be provided.

Anyone is welcome to attend and everyone is free to pay their respects.

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