Local News

Community unites to remember Sam Strahan

SPOKANE, Wash. - The University High School gymnasium filled steadily on Saturday as family, friends and community members arrived to celebrate and honor the life of Sam Strahan, the 15-year-old Freeman student killed in a shooting last week. 

The Strahan family asked KXLY to be present at the memorial today. The service was held at U-High to allow more seating. 

Sam was remembered by friends and co-volunteers at local organizations for his 'infectious smile," and for his spirit. His mother, Ami, spoke to the way in which her son stood out from the crowd- she recalled a time he wore a Chewbacca onesie to the grocery store. 

Ami mentioned that her son was Sam was diagnosed with Asperger's several years ago. He was highly intellectual and "could talk his way out of anything," his mother said. 

Asperger's made social relationships challenging for Sam, but his mother said he loved Freeman High School. The family discussed the possibility of moving from the area after the death of Sam's father, Scott, in June, but Sam was determined to continue his studies at Freeman. 

Ami Strahan's son is remembered by many as a hero, for confronting a shooter and saving the lives of other students. HIs mother said while she may not understand why he stood up in that moment, she's grateful for the strength and courage he displayed. 

"I had a boy come up to me the other day and he told me, he said 'if Sam hadn't walked up that day, I wouldn't be here. So, thank you,'" Strahan said.