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16-year-old killed in shooting an inspiration, teachers say

By Mike Anderson  |  Posted Sep 11th, 2013 @ 6:34pm

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BRIGHAM CITY — A community in Brigham City is mourning the loss of a 16-year-old girl who was killed in what police said was a murder-suicide allegedly perpetrated by her stepfather.

Two schools had several grief counselors on hand for students Wednesday.

Alix Norman was described as a quiet kid who was very focused on academics and also had a gift for the arts.

Teachers at Box Elder Middle School said her talents stood out and even inspired some of them.

"She was kind of quirky and had an interesting sense of humor that was not typical," said English teacher Shannon Cheney.

Cheney said Norman had a knack for being creative in her writing and seemed to connect well with teachers.

"What I hate most about being a teacher is getting close to kids and then losing them for one reason or another. And that's a hard thing to take," Cheney said.

Norman was perhaps best known for her art.

"You would often walk by her desk and she would be doodling something, but it was way beyond just doodling," said technology teacher Matt Williams.

Her passion for art is what made this quiet teenager stand out, teachers said.

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"When you looked at it, you were interested because it had a lot of movement and a lot of emotion in it," said art teacher Shelley Smyka.

"She was really a great inspiration to me," Smyka said.

Norman had graduated from the middle school last Spring and was a sophomore at Box Elder High School. The principal at Box Elder High school said in her short time at the school, many teachers had already picked up on her gift and passion for art.

Teachers said they never suspected any trouble at home.

"She had a really close relationship with her mother," Smyka said.

Many of the teachers said the actions of Tuesday night were confusing and senseless.

"She is missed, and I will miss her," Cheney said. "I'm just terribly sad about it all."

Police said they still have no indication as to what may have led up to Tuesday night's shooting.


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