The death of Dr. John Cheng is a loss being felt around the country. It includes east Texas where the doctor was top of his class and voted most likely to succeed.
A former classmate said he was destined to help people.
"I've known this boy for 40 years," said Tamara Gant, a radio personality and high school friend. "We were getting ready for our 35th class high school reunion. He still looked like he was in high school."
Gant fondly shared yearbook photos of her beloved classmate. They were friends since junior high and high school at Marshall High, where they grew up in Marshall, Texas.
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Gant happened to look at the yearbook on Saturday, "John Cheng, most likely to succeed."
"I looked down and swear I saw John's name and said, 'Well we got this one right,'" she said. "I have been crying on and off."
Gant said what came as no surprise was the heroism when she learned it was her old friend who charged at a gunman who opened fire inside the Geneva Presbyterian church.
"We knew John was going to be something great because that's just who he was. That was John. He was going to try to save someone. And he did. He saved a lot of someones. Unfortunately he didn't save himself."
Patients and friends of the doctor added to the memorial outside his office.
Brooke Dubray, Dr. Cheng's neighbor and patient, said he was someone who took his job seriously.
"He tried to give the best care to everybody. Real big loss."
Added Wendy Pietarila, another friend and patient.
"When people pass and they're ill or they're older and you have time to prepare but when it's something like this, it's such a shock."