07/18/11 — A tragic loss: 19-year-old's death another sad waste of a promising life

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A tragic loss: 19-year-old's death another sad waste of a promising life

All too often, we get so focused on the crime and the criminal, we forget about the victim.

And this past week, it would have been easy to concentrate attention on the news that a young man had come into his family's home and shot his father and killed his sister.

It is scandalous. It is unusual.

But what makes this story so sad is that a young woman -- barely more than a teenager herself -- will now no longer be able to pursue her dreams or to live the life she deserved.

All because of a moment and a bullet.

Cquashanda Mitchell was by all accounts a fine young woman. Her friends say she was kind, a good listener and a beautiful person, inside and out.

In fact, she was getting ready to pursue her dream of becoming a model.

But all that changed in one horrible moment.

Those who gathered to remember Cquashanda said she would have been happy to know that so many loved her. They all had stories of the effect this young woman had on their lives. They said, had the roles been reversed, she would have been there to lead a memorial for any of her friends and classmates. That was just the kind of person she was.

And as we wait for details on why such a terrible loss had to occur and what prompted a young man to shoot his family, we should not forget Cquashanda and the thousands of victims like her across the country.

It is their stories that should motivate us to think about crime, punishment and how to stop senseless violence like this so it doesn't claim anymore promising young lives.

That is the best way to remember this young woman who had so much to give.

Published in Editorials on July 18, 2011 10:48 AM