Students stood shoulder to shoulder and offered prayers and tributes Friday to 18-year-old Nasjay Murray, and her father shared his memories of her.
Murray was among two killed after a shooting took place near Bradley University in Peoria earlier this month.
Officials said they arrived at a residence in the 1800 block of West Bradley Avenue, after receiving a report around 1:45 a.m. of shots fired and a large number of people fleeing the area. Authorities said they found a man and a woman with apparent gunshot wounds inside the house and both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Her father, Turrano Murry, said Nasjay had big plans. She had been accepted to Ivy League schools like Brown University, he said, but chose to attend Bradley University to stay close to home.
"She was on her way," he said.
According to officials, the off-campus shooting claimed the lives of 22-year-old Polnitz and 18-year-old Nasjay Murray, who was a freshman at the university.
The third victim, whose name has not been released by officials, is said to also be a Bradley student who was transported to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury. Police said the woman has been treated and released from the local hospital.
Bradley University issued a series of posts on Twitter Sunday afternoon expressing condolences to everyone affected by “this senseless tragedy.”
“At Bradley, we are a family. Together, we are deeply affected and grieving…we extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to Nasjay’s family and friends,” reads a tweet.
"I was real proud, I knew she would graduate," her father said said.
Second District Councilman Chuck Grayeb posted on Facebook saying that “in Murray’s honor, the school will fly flags at half-staff for the next three days.”
The school is also providing counseling services to those who need it.
“As your Councilman, I want everyone to know that safety is always a high priority in District Two and in our City,” Grayeb said on Facebook.
"It's just something I cannot believe, I don't know if I'm still dreaming," Turrano said. "I don't know how to act, I'm trying to talk but I don't know what to say."
"You were truly a sweetheart," he said. "You were so kind sweet and wise."
A 16-year-old boy is now charged with first degree murder for the shooting that also left another person dead.
Nasjay’s funeral will be held Saturday afternoon at Kenwood United Church of Christ.