That Macy Murphy loved art was clear from the paintings and sculptures she created to her bright red hair.
About 100 family members and friends gathered Tuesday night at Illa Collin Park to mourn the loss of the girl they described as a bright, quiet, budding artist loved by all.
Murphy, 15, was found Sunday in a car on Inisheer Way that neighbors said had been parked on the street since the night before. She’d been shot in the torso.
A 17-year-old male was arrested Monday in Murphy’s shooting death. He remains in Sacramento County juvenile hall. Neither Murphy’s mother, Renee Pacli, nor her grandmother, Debbie Pacli, knew who the suspect could be. Murphy lived with her mother in south Sacramento.
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Erin Duarte was Murphy’s sixth-grade teacher at Pony Express Elementary school in Sacramento. She said Tuesday that Murphy was a sensitive and intuitive student, who was “extremely bright … very sweet.”
Murphy was attending the Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy charter school at the time of her death, her grandmother said.
“She added her own creativity to everything she did,” Duarte recalled Tuesday.
Duarte said her relationship with Murphy began when Duarte served as an escort during a weeklong camping trip to Sly Park. Duarte said her daughter and Murphy became friends.
Cynthia Ruiz, Murphy’s aunt, said the teen was dedicated to her family and wanted to finish high school early to pursue a career in creative arts.
Murphy’s friends organized a vigil via social media that was held Monday on the street where Murphy was found, Ruiz said, adding that Tuesday night’s gathering at the park in the same neighborhood was intended to bring comfort to members of Murphy’s family and extended family.
Large photos of Murphy were displayed on picnic tables and illuminated by votive candles as red star-shaped balloons swayed above them in the evening breeze. Eight-year-old Priscilla Haynes one of Murphy’s cousins, added to the display a picture she had drawn of Murphy and family members.
Lorraine Aguilera, a longtime family friend, recalled watching Murphy grow up. “We want to celebrate her life,” she told those gathered.
Although it lasted only 15 years, she said, “It was a good life.”