HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Alumni of Marshall High School and other community members gathered Friday evening to remember the late Dr. John Cheng, a favorite son who became a national hero after giving his life trying to save others.

For the vigil honoring Cheng, a Marshall native, prayerful community members gathered in front of the Harrison County Courthouse to honor the doctor who subdued a gunman during the Laguna Woods church shooting on May 15.

Cheng was attending a banquet at Geneva Presbyterian Church with his mother when a gunman locked and chained the doors of the building before opening fire.

Friends of Cheng, a member of Marshall High School’s class of 1987 and Baylor University, spoke fondly of their friend.

“He gave his life for everyone in the church and without him, they probably wouldn’t have made it because this guy’s intention was to take everybody out. The fact that he did that did not surprise me or anybody in our fraternity cause he was that kind of servant, that he would lay down his life like Jesus did for his friends,” James Runnels one of Dr. Cheng’s fraternity brothers said.