Prayer vigil held in Bismarck for 16-year-old gunshot victim

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 7:06 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Family and friends gathered for a prayer vigil Thursday night to honor 16-year-old Taryn Hohbein, who was shot to death in June. People shared memories of Taryn and mentioned her humorous spirit.

“She lived her life to her fullest. Probably more than a lot of 30-year-olds, even though she was 16,” said friend Chloe Schmalenberger.

They say she was as fierce as her red hair that made her stick out in a crowd.

“Very fiery from the beginning and kept that through her whole life,” said mother Angela Schwarting.

“She’s just the type of person that would always stand up for you. She would always stick up for me and she’d be going after them bullies. She always spoke her mind,” said friend Ahni Harris.

Through songs, prayers and testimony, people recounted the goofy, comforting and loyal friend that was Taryn.

“She was always there for me no matter what, no matter what I needed. And her personality, she was so goofy all the time. She was always a funny girl,” said friend Sydney Pittsley.

“I first met her in middle school because we rode the same bus. She was just always so caring from the start. If you needed something, she had it. She had a really bright personality,” said friend Abby Berg.

Friends and family say Taryn’s heart was as big as her smile.

“She was one of those people where you don’t have to question if she loves or if she cares about you. She’s one of those people you know right away, straight off the bat from meeting her,” said friend Harbor Clooten.

Those who gathered remembered how Taryn put her friends and family as a top priority. Now they want to repay her by honoring and celebrating her life.

“Willing to help anyone out all the time,” said father Jesse Hohbein.

“Very helpful, very comforting, she comforted us through many things. She’s always there for her friends and family,” said Schwarting.

Some say Taryn helped them learn and grow as people. They hope to spread those lessons and help others as she did for them.

“She really affected how I have confidence in myself and my self-esteem in general. And I have a lot of that to thank for Taryn,” said Harris.

“When I first met her, she just straight off told me, ‘You can trust me, you can tell me anything, I’ll always be there for you.’ You could really just tell she was going to be a light in your life,” said friend Madyson Fagan.

Family and friends say they are determined to keep shining that light in their life that was Taryn.

Taryn would have been a junior at Bismarck High School. Her family says they are thankful for the overwhelming support they have received from the community since her death.

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