*Sadly, another story emerging from the aftermath of the Orlando Massacre is the that of 18-year-old Akyra Monet Murray, a recent graduate of West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia.
Murray was announced in a post on the school’s website Monday afternoon. She had just graduated third in her class last week, and had just signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Mercyhurst University.
“May God bless Akyra’s soul and provide comfort to all family and friends during this very troubling time,” the school’s statement reads.
WPVI TV reports that the family decided to celebrate her success/graduation by traveling to Orlando for a family vacation.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Murray’s mother, Natalie, said Akyra told her parents she wanted to party in downtown Orlando.
“She doesn’t drink, she just wanted to have a good time,” Natalie Murray told the AP. “We dropped her off at 11:30.”
At about 2 a.m., Akyra Murray sent a text message to her mother, telling her to pick up her and her cousins. She said there had been a shooting.
Moments later, the phone rang.
“She was saying she was shot and she was screaming, saying she was losing a lot of blood,” Natalie Murray said.
Her parents sped back to the club from nearby Kissimmee, frantically trying to reach the teenager, who had been shot in the arm.
“I just tried to tell her to remain calm and apply pressure to the wound,” Natalie Murray said. “All I could hear was my baby screaming.”
Murray said her daughter was hiding in a bathroom stall, her arm bleeding for hours with no medical treatment.
Akyra Murray told her mother to call police and send help before the two hung up.
They never spoke again. “It was devastating,” Natalie Murray said.
The report goes on to say that for 27 hours, Murray said the family searched Orlando-area hospitals looking for Akyra.
“We just wanted to know for ourselves,” she said. “We wanted somebody to tell us something.”
Late Monday morning, after calling a hotline set up by city officials, they received the news of her death.