Aquilla Flood's classmates voted her this year's senior prom queen. She planned to wear a champagne-colored dress made by her grandmother, along with a tiara and 6-inch heels. Although she wanted to go to the dance with a group of friends, Aquilla accepted a classmate's offer to attend with him.
Aquilla, 17, expected to graduate from East Orange Campus High School in New Jersey on June 26. Eventually she hoped to attend a fashion school with the goal of one day opening her own boutique. She loved shopping at H&M and ALDO, and often wore Ralph Lauren clothes. Her job at McDonald's and time spent babysitting funded her shopping sprees. As captain of the cheerleading squad during her freshman and sophomore years, Aquilla declined the track coaches' continual pleas to join their team. "She took every day as a new day," her mother, Nicole Flood, told msnbc. "Every day for her was like a new experience."
Aquilla was shot and killed inside her bedroom in East Orange on June 4. Her ex-boyfriend has been arrested and charged with murder.