COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Just hours after officers say the suspect wanted for the murder of 16-year-old Lakeshia Moses surrendered to police, family and friends gathered to honor her young life.
Police said Moses died from a gunshot wound to the face after being shot at Wilson Homes, located at 4300 8th Ave. on July 1.
Friends and relatives lit individual candles, as well as spell out Moses' nickname, "Ladybug," with tiny candles placed in front of a memorial covered with balloons and a wooden cross.
As the group gathered around the candle display, people took turns addressing the crowd, honoring Moses in their own way. Several relatives said Moses was a bright, bubbly person with a keen eye for fashion and a big heart and smile.
Moses' older sister, Shondrele Reese, said she's struggling to deal with the pain of losing Lakeshia, on the heels of another death in the family caused by gun violence.
Reese said, however, she'll make sure the community remembers Ladybug as a loving sister and friend.
"She was always sweet, smiling, full of joy," Reese said, "she always wanted to be dressed up. Ladybug...I will miss my baby."
Reese and her family suffered another loss on June 9, when 15-year-old Jamyah Allen was shot and killed at Sea Breeze Trailer Park.
Jonai Chambers, Lakeshia's cousin, said she was a dedicated student who planned to graduate high school and then enlist in the Army.
"She was a bright, young lady, always getting As and Bs," Chambers said.
Reese said the family is still sorting out arrangements for Lakeshia's funeral.
Mark Shelnutt, attorney for 17-year-old Lernard Bonner, said the suspect surrendered to authorities a day after police say he shot Moses in the face at Wilson Apartments.
Bonner is set to appear in Recorder's Court on Tuesday, Jul. 5 at 8 a.m.