UPDATED Oct. 31, 2007 – A sea of people poured into the Nineteenth Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to pay their last respects to a girl who's life was cut short.
Shalita K. Middleton, the freshman from historically Black Delaware State University who died last week from wounds she suffered in a campus shooting last month, was laid to rest.
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Freshman Loyer D. Braden, 18, allegedly shot the 17-year-old biology major from Washington in the abdomen on Sept. 21. Nathaniel Pugh, another 17-year-old student from Washington, suffered an ankle wound.
"She struggled valiantly over the last several weeks and she was an inspiration," the family said. "Ultimately, however, the internal injuries that she suffered were in the end too critical to overcome."
The campus community is "grieving and deeply saddened," University President Allen Sessoms said in a statement.
"Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this most difficult time," Sessoms said. "I know I speak for all our DSU family in offering our heartfelt condolences."
According to university spokesman Carlos Holmes, two administrators were with the Middletons when Shalita died.
A judge last week increased bail to $192,000 for suspect Braden of East Orange, New Jersey.
The university will likely hold a memorial for her, they said. Investigators were hopeful but never got the opportunity to interview Shalita, a campus cheerleader, about the circumstances surrounding that horrific day when shooting broke out on the Dover campus.
The alleged shooter, a freshman from East Orange, N.J., is being held on $92,000 bail on charges of attempted murder, assault and other offenses. The charges will now likely swell to murder.
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