A high school senior in Pennsylvania was fatally shot just days before her graduation — the victim of simply being in the “wrong place at the wrong time,” her heartbroken mother said.
Morgan Dunston, 18, died early Friday after being shot in the head as she danced in a parking lot at about 3 a.m. Friday, just hours after skipping her senior prom at McKeesport Area High School, her mother told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“Someone came up from behind and started shooting and my baby got shot,” Dunston’s mother, Angie Krimm, told the newspaper.
Dunston died at a hospital. Her twin sister, Jordyn, went to the prom on Thursday and is now struggling to deal with the loss just months before she’s scheduled to attend Slippery Rock University on a full scholarship, Krimm said.
“She feels like, ‘If I go on and live my life, I am leaving my sister behind,’” Krimm told the newspaper of Jordyn’s newfound reality. “And I said, ‘Jordyn, you have to do it for her. Because that’s what she would want you to do.’”
Dunston, meanwhile, had planned to attend cosmetology school this summer. She was remembered as a joyful and kind teen who never hesitated to help someone in need. Krimm will now accept her diploma on her daughter’s behalf Thursday before the teen’s funeral the following day.
Friends and relatives will then hold a graduation party for the twins and a celebration of life for Dunston on Saturday, Krimm told the newspaper.
“She wasn’t in a gang,” Krimm said. “She wasn’t with the wrong crowd. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to enjoy life.”
The shooting occurred outside Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community Church and left several windows shattered, WPXI reports. A pastor told the station he didn’t believe the church was targeted during the shooting.
“My heart is really just concerned with the victim and what happened with whoever was here,” Pastor Jeff Eddings told the station.
Police said Dunston’s death was being investigated as a homicide. No arrests had been made as of early Tuesday, police spokesman Chris Togneri told The Post.
Two of Dunston’s friends drove her to a hospital after the shooting. Her mother and twin sister said they’re both unsure how they’ll cope with the loss of the effervescent teen.
Dunston’s death also comes 21 years after Krimm’s sister, 14-year-old Kimberlie, was found dead in McKeesport, the mom told the Post-Gazette.
“It’s a dream,” she said. “It’s a dream that still I’m not awake from. I don’t know how you’re supposed to bury your kid.”
An online fundraiser set up in Dunston’s memory had exceeded $13,000 as of Tuesday.
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