PALISADE, Colo. Students and staff at Palisade High School are remembering and honoring the 14-year-old who was shot and killed while hunting on the Grand Mesa on Sunday.
Music was floating through the halls of Palisade High School on Tuesday to pay tribute to Justin Burns, the 14-year-old who was killed while hunting with his father and friends on Sunday.
"Everybody is kind of in a different place with their grief process right now and definitely, yesterday was tough," explained Jeff Mason, the Band Director at Palisade High School.
The school has grief counselors on hand for students and staffs who are struggling with the loss of what students say was a great classmate. Friends and staff at Palisade say Burns was a quiet but devoted musician who was a joy to be around. He was someone who had many friends.
His band director Jeff Mason says Burns was the type of young man every parent hopes to raise.
"When you have kids, I have two kids, I know that you want to raise them to be good people, solid students,” Mason explained. “And Justin was that."
Justin was bow hunting with his father at Big Creek Reservoir on the Grand Mesa when he was shot and killed by an out-of-the-area hunter. The circumstances are still under investigation by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
Mason says the loss has been devastating for students and staff alike.
"He was a great person, a great friend to a lot of people, a great student, a great musician and he will be missed," Mason said.
If you are interested in contributing to the Burns family, Helping Hands is taking donations. If you are interested, you can mail checks to the San Juan Mountain Credit Union in Helping Hands Name at 1102 South Cascade Avenue, Montrose, CO 81401. You can also donate in person and just say it is for the Burns family.