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Crowd gathers to remember beloved security guard who died suddenly at Manchester High School

MANCHESTER — Hundreds of people turned out to remember a security guard Wednesday evening who died after collapsing at school. Manchester High School offi...

MANCHESTER -- Hundreds of people turned out to remember a security guard Wednesday evening who died after collapsing at school.

Manchester High School officials said longtime security guard Barry "Mitch" Mitchell collapsed outside the school Wednesday morning and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Authorities said the cause of Mitchell's death was not immediately clear. Students in Manchester were dismissed early after the incident.

Wednesday evening, a crowd gathered on the grounds of the high school. Students, alumni, and town residents remembered Mitchell fondly.

"We just had that special bond that nobody else could have because I was the first person that he got to talk to and he was the first person to help me find my class," said Bethany Kummer, a MHS graduate.

"I was like heartbroken and devastated like I wouldn't stop crying it was a lot of anger and pain inside of me," said Chastity Rivera, a sophomore.

Principal Jill Kreiger said in a statement that Mitchell's death was a huge loss and she urged people to keep his family in their thoughts and prayers. Counselors were made available to students.

School was dismissed at 10:30 a.m., but officials said students could stay until the regular dismissal time if they chose.

After-school activities have been canceled and the school said it will share more information as it become available.