The 16-year-old killed in Wednesday’s shooting in Six Nations was a “really nice guy” who knew everybody at his school, friends and classmates said Thursday.

Ashton VanEvery was killed when he was shot in the head in what Six Nations Police have called a retaliatory attack for an earlier incident.

He attended Brantford Collegiate Institute, where flags flew at half-mast Thursday in his memory.

“Ashton was a really great guy. He was very nice and very outgoing – just a happy kid,” said friend Shawna Styres.

Friends described VanEvery as someone who seemed to know and like everyone at BCI, and was liked by everyone in return – no small feat for a Grade 10 student.

“He had a goofy smile on his face all the time, and he was just so happy,” said friend Abby Thompson.

“I don’t know anyone that hated him. I don’t know anyone that had a problem with him at all.”

Even Jacob Smith, who only transferred to BCI this spring, said he’d come to know and like VanEvery.

“He had a good head on his shoulders. He wasn’t doing good in school, but he was trying to make things better,” Smith said.

Ashton VanEvery
Ashton VanEvery is shown in this photo from his Facebook page.

BCI students said the mood inside the school was sombre as news of VanEvery’s death spread.

School administrators ensured guidance counsellors were available for any staff or students who wanted to make use of them.

“We wanted to make sure that the staff and students that came to school today are going to be fully supported,” said principal Ann Myhal.

Friends say one of the other people injured in Wednesday’s shooting was VanEvery’s older brother Faron.

For Styres, who lives in Six Nations, the shooting came as a shock even before she learned who the victims were.

“There is violence, but I never thought there would be violence with a gun,” she said.

“That’s just sad, that our people are going that way. Violence is never the solution.”