ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The church family of Jaquayla Young, the young woman killed in Saturday's mass shooting on Pennsylvania Avenue, is speaking out.
Young, along with another teen, Jarvis Alexander, was fatally shot at a party.
Another 14 people were shot and are expected to recover.
The message of Tuesday's press conference was sharing who Jaquayla Young was and what she meant to the community. The family of Jaquayla, East High school officials, and people from the community joined the family with support outside the First Genesis Baptist Church in Rochester, where Young was a member.
“We want the community to know that Jaquayla Young was not someone that was misguided, but rather someone who was inspired, who inspired others,” said Rev. Fred Johnson, pastor of First Genesis Baptist Church.
Pastor Johnson says Jaquayla had ambitions of becoming an educator, and was attending school at Monroe Community College to help achieve her goal.
"She was one of the youth that we knew was going to succeed and do well and accomplish significant things. So it was devastating to hear that one of our young adults' life was taken so swiftly and without notice," said Rev. Johnson.
Jaquayla was heavily involved in the church, from the dance and performance arts ministry, to volunteering with different projects.
Jaquayla’s legacy went beyond the church doors and was seen through her time at East High.
“Jaquayla represented the epitome of what we want in any of our scholars that graduate, she was loving, caring, intelligent, she represented us anytime we had guests come to the building as a lighthouse ambassador, and she was a member of our teaching and learning institute,” said Marlene Blocker, principal at East High School.
“What she gave to us at East far exceeds anything that we could have given to her,” said East High Superintendent Shaun Nelms. He added that the family did nothing wrong, and Jaquayla did everything right.
“To have her life taken so tragically…… It’s just, it’s not fair,” said Nelms.
“We love Quayla and we will remember her forever, but we have to stop the violence in the community and it’s going to take everybody sticking together, the churches, every organization, to be together in order to stop that,” said Nicole Howard, a youth leader at First Genesis Baptist Church.
There will be a public wake this Sunday at First Genesis Baptist Church from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a private ceremony on Monday.