UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - There were tears and pleas for justice during an emotional gathering in Upper Marlboro as family and friends remembered Ayana McAllister. The 18-year-old college student was back home for spring break and was hanging out with her friends at a music video shoot in Northeast D.C. Monday night when someone opened fire, killing her and wounding another person.
Police in D.C. are still searching for her killer.
A candlelight vigil was held Friday night at Largo High School where McAllister graduated. The gathering quickly became a celebration of the 18-year-old’s life. Attendees wore white in her honor and family, friends and her former basketball teammates shared touching stories and memories of her.
“No mother, no family member should have to go through burying a child,” said Tyreese McAllister, Ayana’s mother.
McAllister's parents said they will fight to end gun violence in memory of their daughter.
“There is work to be done,” the victim’s mother said. “My husband and I are both social activists. We always have been and we have done things on a smaller scale. But God has given us a platform through Ayana.”
Ayana’s parents thanked the community for all of their support. A plea was made for anyone with information about the deadly shooting to come forward.
“No matter what happens to the person, our daughter is not coming back,” said Ayana’s father, Anthony McAllister. “I would just ask that if anybody knows anything, they come forward, share the information so that we as a family can get some comfort.”
McAllister was a freshman and criminal justice major at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina. She played on the girls’ basketball team at Largo High School. She was part of the Maryland State Police cadet program and came home once a month to participate. Her dream was to become a detective in the Special Victims Unit and help people who have been abused or mistreated.