ARCHIVE STORY: Friends and family hold vigil for Austin McCloud; - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

ARCHIVE STORY: Friends and family hold vigil for Austin McCloud; parents warn of drug dangers

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Pictures of Austin McCloud on display at War Eagle Park Sunday evening. Pictures of Austin McCloud on display at War Eagle Park Sunday evening.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Members and students in the community gathered Sunday evening to remember West High school senior Austin McCloud at War Eagle Park. That's where McCloud's mother, Tammy Summers says her 18 year old son was last alive.

Friends and family are still trying to make sense of the events that have unfolded since April 16. It's an emotional time for McCloud's family, who is grieving, yet, trying to make the best of a situation that came at the fate of one bad choice.

Hundreds gathered in War Eagle park signing posters with pictures drawn of McCloud, wearing t-shirts with his picture, and holding candles, grasping to what is the reality many are now sinking into that West High student Austin McCloud died Thursday evening by a drug overdose, according to his parents.

His fate left in the hands his parents say of an imitation marijuana, K-2.

"This stuff kills and Austin's gone forever," said Jerry McCloud, Austin's father.

Many were able to push aside the startling fact of how a teen many called a friend, died.

"It doesn't take being a dope addict or a drug addict," said McCloud. "He was a good kid."

McCloud's parents both warn about the severity and fragileness related to the topic.

"I'm like every other parent," said McCloud. "You don't think it could happen to yours but it really can."

"I hope kids take awareness to it cause it's a killer, it's deadly."

For some, this was their last time being able to say goodbye to a friend whose mom and dad say fell victim to a bad choice.

"It's beyond words," said McCloud. "It's deadly, it's deadly."

Sioux City Police are still investigating the exact cause of McCloud's death. Authorities also are still looking into how the teens got the drugs that police say they admitted to using on April 16th.

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