DUANESBURG, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With candles held low and prayers being lifted up high, the Town of Duanesburg remembers two lives cut short with a prayer vigil Friday evening.

Gretchen Badger was one of 5-year old Jacob Patino’s teacher’s assistants. “This is devastating. The word I keep coming back to is unspeakable. This has just been.. He [Jacob Patino] was beautiful. He was special. I know all our children are special. I love every kid I work with, Jacob had a very special and unique light that most kids don’t. He had an empathy that most adults don’t ever find. And a heart for everyone around him. It has been devastating and we’re still in shock.” 

The shock continues to reverberate throughout this small Schenectady County town following Wednesday night’s brutal attack at the Patino home along Duanesburg Road. A diner just a few hundred yards from the Patino home closed. A church, mourning. A child without his classmate.

6-year old Brian Reese says he often would sit next to Jacob Patino on the school bus. Reese says, “he was really nice to me” and that he will “remember him in my [his] head.”

Reese’s father says trying to explain to his son why a member of his class will not be in attendance anymore was one of the more difficult things he has had to do. “It hits home, you know? Having a 6-year old at home, I just..It makes you sad,” the older Reese says, “I went into my office and cried for ten minutes and pulled myself together. It was a horrible thing and I had to go home to talk to my son about what happened and that was a challenge in itself. How does a parent deal with that?”