Students at Rockville High School gathered Tuesday night to remember a senior killed in a murder-suicide.
Police believe U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Adam Anthony Arndt, 31, fatally shot 17-year-old Michelle Miller Monday morning before turning the gun on himself.
Arndt spent the last two and half years working at a recruiting center, where he served as a conduit between recruits and basic training. It's where he met Miller, who recently enlisted in the Army Reserves to help fund her collegiate career.
The Army confirmed Arndt had just six months left on his recruiting assignment in Gaithersburg. He was supposed to be training his replacement. That replacement, a woman, recruited Miller, according to Kevin Miller, Michelle's father.
Michelle's family and community are still numb from the news of her murder and Arndt's suicide.
Over half the student body attended the vigil. Michelle's mother and father were there too.
"The fact that all of you came here to show how much you loved my daughter means everything to me," said Michelle's father, Kevin Miller.
Students released balloons in the school's colors in her memory.
"What a metaphor for this wonderful girl so full of life and spirit and love...," said Michelle's grandmother, Alice Miller. She says the family is struggling with how the teen died.
Alice added, "I think she's a hero, because as far as I'm concerned, she gave her life trying to save someone else."
ABC7 has learned Arndt had the phone numbers of student recruits, because it was his job to answer questions before they left for basic training.
But the three-time Good Conduct and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal recipient was calling the 17-year-old too often, her father says.
Kevin Miller says Ardnt threatened to kill himself Sunday night, and the family believed he suffered from PTSD.
Ardnt deployed to Turkey in 2009 but worked as a human resources specialist.
Alice adds Michelle knew the recruiter well.
"He flattered her terrifically, told her how much he cared about her," Alice explained. "Real professional."
The grandmother says she doesn't know the details of what kind of relationship they had, adding "I don't think they matter. He's 31; she was 17."
The family says Michelle's mother is taking her death the hardest. She was inconsolable at the vigil and had to be taken to the hospital after collapsing.
The Millers say the huge attendance at the vigil means a lot, but they're just beginning to come to terms with what's happened.
"I believe in forgiveness. I hope someday I can forgive him...," Alice continued. "It's hard."
Mark Rickert, the chief of public affairs with the Baltimore Recruiting Battalion of the U.S. Army released this statement about the crime:
"...because the investigation is ongoing...We can't comment. But the one thing we can do is express our condolences to the family."