PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The youngest of the 49 victims of the Florida nightclub massacre was remembered Friday at a funeral service attended by about 600 people, many who wore red, her favorite color, as a tribute.
Akyra Murray, 18, was recalled as a gifted athlete, an accomplished student and person with a positive spirit, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported (http://bit.ly/28WFoVp ).
"She just wanted to be the best," said her brother, Alex Murray. "She will truly be missed. I love you, Kirra."
Members of the West Catholic Prep basketball squad she played on attended in team jerseys. Mayor Jim Kenney suggested her teammates organize a tournament in her honor.
"Wrap yourself around something in her name and keep her memory and spirit alive," Kenney told them.
Murray had graduated a week before her family's vacation in Orlando, and was to attend Mercyhurst University on a basketball scholarship this fall.
In high school, she was a 1,000-point scorer and ranked third in her class.
A friend who was with Murray the night of the June 12 shooting, Patience Carter, arrived on crutches at the Monument Baptist Church in West Philadelphia. Carter was shot in the leg.
Mourners filed past Murray's open casket as a small band played softly.
Her mother has said her terrified daughter called to beg for help from inside a bathroom stall at the Pulse nightclub.
The names of all those killed during the shooting rampage were read during the service, and a video tribute included headlines of the massacre along with family photos and images from Murray's basketball career.