Friends shocked at Luke Batty's brutal death
The 11-year-old victim of a fatal bashing in Tyabb has been described as an outgoing boy who was willing to give anything a try.PT1M27S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-32jxh 620 349 February 13, 2014
- Mother says Luke loved and trusted his father
- Social media tributes flow
- Devastated community united in mourning
Candles began flickering as the sun dipped behind the treetops.
A crowd of more than 300 people gathered at Bunguyan Reserve on Thursday night where they whispered, stifled sobs, and stopped to remember 11-year-old Luke Batty, who was tragically killed beside the cricket nets only metres away.
Mourners at the candlelight vigil for Luke Batty. Photo: James Boddington
Here was a community left heartbroken.
Luke, a grade 6 student at Flinders Christian Community a College, was bashed to death by his father, Greg, after cricket training on Wednesday night. Greg was shot by police shortly after and died in hospital.
There was barely a dry eye once several of Luke's classmates and teammates stood up on a park bench to share their words.
Several of Luke's classmates and teammates stood up on a park bench to share their words. Photo: James Boddington
"He was a really gentle boy and was very kind," said Jay.
The mourners were told the Australian cricket team playing in South Africa were wearing black arm bands in Luke's honour. Local sports clubs pledged to host matches in his memory.
In a statement, the Tyabb Cricket Club expressed deepest sympathies to Luke's family, and said that none of the club's senior or junior teams would be playing this weekend, out of respect.
Mourners light candles at the vigil to remember Luke. Photo: James Boddington
Hastings MP Neale Burgess said it was hard to imagine anything so devastating to bring a town together.
"Everybody is suffering ... it has struck the heart of our community" he said,
Lee, a man who has lived with Luke and his mother Rosie Batty for the past 14 months, said Luke was a young, innocent boy "whose life was terminated here last night".
Community mourns young Luke Batty
Luke Batty's mother, Rosie Batty back at Tyabb oval today reading cards well wishers have left following the murder of her son here 2 days ago. Photo: James Boddington
"It's every parent's worst nightmare that this could happen. We need to hold our children close, but not be afraid, not curtail our children's activities ... let them be free."
Earlier on Thursday, Ms Batty recalled happier times with her son. Just days ago, she celebrated her birthday with friends and Luke. That's how she wants to remember him.
''He enjoyed his footy, he enjoyed his cricket, he has drama, he was effervescent, he was funny," she said.