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Stories like this always break my heart. It’s so unfortunate when teens and young adults are unable to see beyond the “right now” long enough to realize that they have their whole lives ahead of them. 17-year-old Aquilla Flood was preparing to experience two of the most memorable experiences in a young woman’s life— senior prom and graduation. Instead, her promising life was abruptly cut short by a single gunshot wound to the head and unfortunately, her family found themselves planning her funeral instead of a graduation celebration.

According to NBC, Aquilla was shot dead as she slept in her bedroom last Wednesday, a mere week before graduation. Her family discovered her body in a pool of blood just before 7:30 am the following morning. Aquilla spent the day before shopping for prom shoes with her mother and grandmother before going to bed. Her Uncle even revealed that he checked on her around 3 am and she was fine. Aquila’s bedroom showed no signs of forced entry and it is believed that the culprit accessed her bedroom from the fire escape.

18-year-old Al-Muqqadin Means, a young man who is believed to Aquilla’s ex-boyfriend, has been charged in her murder, CBS reports. He was also a classmate of Aquilla. Friends and family say that the murder was triggered when the newly elected prom queen refused to be Means’ date for the dance. According to the Daily Mail, Aquilla ended her relationship with Means several months ago, which is when he allegedly began threatening her. She expressed concern regarding Means’ threats to her Uncle and even asked if they could move to another apartment so that she could get away from him.

Aquilla was laid to rest today at Christian Pentecostal Church of Christ in Irvington, New Jersey. She would’ve been crowned prom queen tomorrow.

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