Vigil held for young girl killed in Ballston Spa

December 19, 2018 09:34 AM

BALLSTON SPA – Hundreds of community members came together in Ballston Spa Tuesday night to remember and honor the life of Emma Jones.

Police said the 12-year-old and her mother were shot and killed last week by Emma’s father, who then took his own life.

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"Emma was definitely one in a million in so many ways,” said Emma’s friend Isabella Kaldy at the vigil Tuesday night. "I could've never asked for a better, more loyal BFF. She pushed me to become a better tennis player and a better student."

District officials have said they’ve been honest with students about the incident.

"The majority of them have probably never experienced a death like this,” said Ballston Spa School District Deputy Superintendent Denise Jones. “They've had time with their teachers and counselors at school to process this.”

Kaldy described Emma as someone who had a great sense of humor and was a great tennis players. She said Emma wanted to attend college at Stanford University. She also had a love for animals.

"On her birthdays Emma requested donations be sent to the Wildlife Conservation Society, a very selfless act, so typical of Emma,” said Kaldy.

Also remembering Emma was her math teacher.

"On the first day of school she wrote that math was fun, and that she enjoyed school,” said Colin Klepetar. “Two statements that immediately told me much about this wonderful girl."

Her guidance counselor also spoke about who she was.

"When I think about Emma, her caring nature, infectious laugh, kindness to others and her love of learning stand out in my mind,” said Caroline O’Connor.

Emma was also known for her artwork, which was on display Tuesday night. After several different speakers, people lit candles and the seventh grade choir sang Silent Night. Many girls broke down in tears.

While the district hopes the vigil brings closure for the community, they also wanted people to walk away carrying the spirit of Emma with them.

"I would hope that all of us can carry a bit of her radiant nature and kindness with us into the world, in honor of her bright and amazing heart,” said O’Connor.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to Ballston Spa Police Tuesday to see if there were any updates in the case. They said we’d have to speak to the chief, who was not in.


WNYT Staff

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