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Promising Philadelphia Student-Athlete Was One of 49 Killed in Orlando Nightclub Massacre


A recent Philadelphia high school graduate was one of 49 victims who died when  Omar Mateen open gunfire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando at 2 a.m. Sunday.

Philadelphia’s ABC 6 reports that 18-year-old West Catholic Preparatory High School graduate Akyra Murray died in the massacre. Monday, her school announced via their website that she was one of many taken that unfortunate morning.

“May God bless Akyra’s soul and provide comfort to all family and friends during this very troubling time,” the school’s statement on their website read.

The student-athlete graduated at the top of her class and had planned to continue her studies — on a basketball scholarship — at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania.

The young woman was in Orlando on vacation with family celebrating her high school achievements. She was also there to visit her brother, Alex, who attends college in West Palm Beach, ABC 6 reports.

“She doesn’t drink, she just wanted to have a good time,” her mother, Natalie Murray, told the Associated Press. “We dropped her off at 11:30.”

Natalie Murray said she received a text from her daughter stating that she was shot in the arm as she hid in the bathroom.

A full 27 hours went by before her family learned about her passing.

“We just wanted to know for ourselves,” Murray said. “We wanted somebody to tell us something.”

Late Monday morning, Akyra’s mother called a hotline set up by city officials to find out if Akrya had made it to a hospital safely. However, the family received the news of her death.

West Catholic Preparatory High School says a vigil will be held Wednesday evening for Akyra.

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