Teammates, coaches, U of U officials pay tribute at vigil for slain Ute Aaron Lowe

Aaron Lowe. Photo: University of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 29, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Speakers at a vigil for slain University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe remembered him as a hard worker, a supportive friend, a positive thinker and someone who always strove to improve himself.

That was the theme at the Wednesday night candlelight vigil for Ute player No. 22: In tribute to Lowe, make yourself 22% better.

Lowe, 21 and a Mesquite, Texas native, was fatally shot outside a house party in Salt Lake City at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Police say the shooter or shooters were uninvited guests who had been asked to leave. A woman also was shot and critically injured. No suspects have been identified, according to recent Salt Lake City Police statements.

At the vigil, U of U Athletic Director Mark Harlan thanked all for their tributes to “a terrific young man” who worked hard to reach his dreams and achieved many of them.

“He made it to the University of Utah, which was a dream for him,” Harlan said, adding that he had spoken with Lowe’s mother, Donna, “in great detail about that. We also spoke in great detail about his last day on earth, playing a football game in a place that he loved, with his teammates. He loved the game being on national TV. That was his dream.”

They talked about what a great communications student Lowe had been, being inquisitive in his classes and doing quality work.

Harlan also talked about Lowe’s practice of “looking after” those who came up behind him, helping younger teammates and classmates.

“It was about the younger people behind him, and his mom just loved that, and she just smiled because she knew” that was his way.

Aaron Lowe. Photo: University of Utah

Harlan said Lowe’s mother has made peace with his unexpected and unjust death, because God had a plan.

Harlan said he knew Lowe’s friends, teammates, and everyone at the vigil was suffering.

“Keep an eye on everybody and love everybody, because we can get through this together,” he said.

Teammates remembered Lowe as someone they could always joke with and count on. Several mentioned his tireless effort to be a better student, a better athlete, and a better person.

U of U President Taylor Randall said he knew Lowe’s teammates were struggling with his loss.

“All of our student athletes, I know you are hurting, but I’ve been impressed,” he said, referring to the words spoken by previous speakers.

“There is a caring and a love among all of you that is really amazing. And I am impressed with your faith and your strength.”

Randall also mentioned the pain of losing a friend to gun violence, “and particularly the trauma that gets experienced too regularly in our Black community.”

“As we leave tonight, I want to share with you something that Donna, Aaron’s mother, said over and over and over again, and you heard it from our, our student athletes that, that he was a ‘light,'” Randall said. “He was not just a light to her, but a light to everyone that knew him. And those of you that knew him personally know that is what he was.

“So now what we’re wanting to do is, we will light the U on the mountain as a tribute to Aaron. It’s going to shine brightly this evening over our University community and the greater Salt Lake Valley, as a testament to his wonderful life.”

Randall was talking about the “U” on the mountainside, strung with lights that are turned on in celebration of winning football games and on other special occasions.

“I think in that light, there is a promise,” Randall said. “It’s a promise that if we take his bright light and we clutch it close to our souls and let it live within us, that we can be better… He existed. We can be better, 22% better, for Aaron.”

See exclusive photos and videos of the police response to the shooting scene, on the 2200 block of South Broadmoor Street, below.



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