Breaking News
More () »

Community packs football stadium to remember life of Mooresville teen

Mario Nathan Lopez, 17, died by suicide at Mooresville High School on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Hundreds of community members, family and friends honored the life of a Mooresville teen on Sunday, Nov. 14. 

Mario Nathan Lopez, a 17-year-old senior, died by suicide at Mooresville High School on Wednesday.

Lopez was known affectionally as "Nathan" by most of his close friends and family. On Sunday, there was a line to sit in the stands at the high school's Joe Popp Stadium. 

As people made their way inside, they signed makeshift yearbooks in remembrance of the yearbook Nathan would never receive.

Credit: Shamarria Morrison
People stopped to sign their names and messages of love in tribute of Mario Nathan Lopez.

Nathan's friends stood center stage sharing their love. 

RELATED: Celebration of life scheduled for Mooresville teen

“All through our childhood years, you showed me what it's like to laugh as hard as I could and love everybody around me," one friend addressing the crowd said. 

Credit: Shamarria Morrison
Mario Nathan Lopez was set to graduate in 2022 from Mooresville High School in North Carolina.

Nathan's mom, Ashley Lopez, was surrounded by happiness and hugs after the ceremony.

“We had people fly in from Mexico," Lopez said. "We have people that have driven in from Texas." 

Lopez pointed to some of Nathan's friends who made long trips for the celebration of life. 

"Here’s one right here. Leah, she grew up with him drove straight. Madison she drove from Georgia," Lopez said. 

Nathan left a strong impression on all his friends. 

Credit: Shamarria Morrison

“He was always somebody who you could talk to and he cared about everybody else maybe more than he did about himself,"  Hunter Jones, one of Nathan's long-time friends, said. 

Jones said his best friend struggled sometimes. 

“He had really bad social anxiety," he said. "And then through meeting me and my friends, and some of his old friends, we all got together and made a friend group and everything.” 

The celebration of life talked openly about suicide prevention awareness and asking for help when you need it.

“That was my whole goal to at least save one," Lopez said. "He was ready to go but we might be able to save one more.” 

Lopez said she is standing with the help of the community that loved Nathan. 

RELATED: White House rolls out new plan to combat gun suicides in US

If you or a loved one are facing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, there is help. People can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or chat with them online. There are also resources in North Carolina available here and in South Carolina available here. 

The family is also encouraging people to make memorials to The Trevor Project.

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts  

All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.  

Before You Leave, Check This Out