Aynis Vargas was always honest. Her father once gave her $5 to go on a field trip. It cost $3, so when she got home, Aynis gave him the change. She often said she felt she had to tell the truth in all situations.
She dreamed of becoming a pharmacist, chef, or historian, but the 12-year-old told her parents that when she turned 15, she would get a part-time job at McDonald’s or a restaurant. She completed sixth grade earlier this year at Garden City Elementary School in her hometown of Cranston, R.I. She wrote in her school’s memory book that she wanted to grow up with her family and to be happy, her father, Teo Vargas, told msnbc. He described her as a “simple” child. She kept her bedroom neat and enjoyed his “secret recipe” pancakes.
Though quiet, Aynis acted in homemade videos with her younger brother, often taking on a British accent. Her one obsession was with her natural curly hair, and she delighted in taking trips with her mother to the salon.
Aynis was shot and killed by a masked gunman who opened fire at an apartment complex—where she was celebrating a friend’s high school graduation—on June 15 in Providence, R.I. At least three women were injured. Two people have been arrested and charged with murder and murder conspiracy.