Tequila Forshee, 12, was the heartbeat of her family.
When her parents separated, "she was the one who kept all of us together," her father, Glenn Forshee, told MSNBC. As the middle child, "she was the glue, the bond." Sometimes she helped her siblings so much, she grew flustered and frustrated with herself because she didn't have enough time to complete her own chores. "Tequila was always the last one in the house crying because she couldn’t find her shoe," her father said.
In early August she began preparing for her first day of seventh grade at Carol City Middle School in her hometown of Miami Gardens, Fla. In previous years she had perfect attendance and was often on the honor roll list. She looked forward to science class because she loved to learn about living things. But her family recently learned of her dreams to become a chef. "We all kind of laughed because, out of all my kids, Tequila was a big eater," her father said.
Tequila always volunteered to participate in any way she could. She was the water-girl for the Miami Gardens Rams Football recreational team, and hoped to try out for the league's cheerleading squad this fall.
Tequila was shot and killed on Aug. 14 when gunfire sprayed her grandmother's Miami Gardens living room, where the child was having her hair braided for the first day of school. Her grandmother suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. The investigation is ongoing.