Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, November 9 2012 at 3:19 PM, Updated: Fri, November 9 2012 at 3:30 PM
Students and staff at a high school in Klamath County made no attempt to camouflage their emotions today over the loss of a fallen classmate...
15 year old Mason Tucker loved the outdoors, and the Oregon Ducks...
Henley High School Principal Mark Risen notes that the school honored Tucker's memory today in a special way...
"On behalf of the Tucker family, and Mason's closest friends, we've all been asked here at school today to wear either camouflage, or Oregon Duck gear in honor of Mason."
Mason Tucker was shot and killed last Sunday morning at his home just south of Keno.
His 15 year old friend Carson McDowell is accused of firing the fatal shot.
Both were students at Henley.
"On Monday morning, very emotional." Noted Henley High School Vice-Principal Jack Lee. "Lots and lots of tears. We had the crisis center here."
"It's stressed us all." Adds Principal Risen. "To a degree that frankly, none of us saw coming."
'Camo Day' is also aimed at showing support for Tucker's parents, Mike and Melissa, who both work for the Klamath County School District.
Vice-Principal Lee notes that a lot of students took part. "I would say pushing 80%. You don't see very many that aren't wearing one or the other."
Principal Risen believes the tragedy has drawn the school closer. "The outpouring has really been a testament to what community is really all about."
The school also held a brief assembly this afternoon in memory of Mason Tucker.
Carson McDowell was indicted by a Klamath County Grand Jury Thursday on a charge of first-degree manslaughter. He's scheduled to be arraigned on those charges Tuesday.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.