SANDY LEVEL – There was only standing room at St. John's Baptist Church as family and friends gathered to remember 20-year-old Na'Jada Joyce at a candlelight vigil on Wednesday night.
State Police believe her boyfriend, Jalen Milner, shot her before killing himself on January 10 in Ridgeway.
Tears were shed and laughs were shared as those who loved her shared their fondest memories.
“She was always there to make you smile and do a cheer and sling that hair then cock that smile,” said Na'Jada's teacher, Beth Lawson.
High school friends recalled her one-of-a-kind personality.
“When Na'Jada cheered in high school and I would be playing football. Let's say we were losing and I would come to the sideline and turn around and there she would be to tell me 'Denzel, y'all suck,'” said Na'Jada's best friend, Kyle Williams.
Garrett Dillard, the master of ceremonies and a family friend commended Na'Jada's mother, Tilphanie Joyce, for her strength during this unimaginable time.
“Her outward strength is weak, but her interward strength is amazing. I have no idea how she's here,” he said.
Joyce wanted to educate those in attendance about seeking help when it comes to domestic violence in relationships.
“She has said I want something positive to come out of this. I don't what anyone else's child to go through what my child went through. I don't want another parent to go through what I'm going through. And that takes inner strength,” Dillard added.