Family friends and even strangers came together at Brookhaven High School for a ceremony to mourn the loss of 20 year old Zaria Newton.
For practically the whole Brookhaven community this was a very stressful and scary week especially for the Newton family, but in Friday’s balloon sendoff many are finding peace.
As the balloons flew high so did emotions from the Newton family, but friends and the community never left their side.
“We stay strong as a family here in Brookhaven,” Preston Wilson told us. “And we’ll continue to make our way through this and we’ll continue to support the Newton Family.”
The tragedy struck last weekend when Zaria and her boyfriend came home late one night finding four men in their home. Police say Zaria was then shot as they took off.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Zaria’s former teacher Pamela Davis said. “I couldn’t wrap my mind around it and I still can’t believe it. But it’s just something that’s just going to be hard for me to except.”
The ceremony began with a prayer done by Wilson calling for everyone to thank god for the time they had with Zaria. Than with love the balloons were sent up.
“I just was thinking about Zaria and how she must be in heaven smiling down on this moment,” Davis continued.
“We pray that Zaria is resting in the arms of our savior,” Wilson said. “And we just want people to know that Zaria was a great person and this family is a great family.”
Just one month away from her 21st birthday classmates, family, and former teachers remember Zaria as a loving cheerful student who loved cheerleading and worked hard.
“She loved cheering at the football games she loved to cheer,” Davis said.
“Zaria was a great student, a great person, and had a great smile on her face,” Wilson explained. “She was always a positive individual in our school system.”
Following the sendoff the Newton family thanked everyone in Zaria’s class for coming and encouraged them to keep their heads up for her. They also welcomed them to their home anytime to check in.
As for suspects Justin Anderson, Jatavious Berry, and Adrian Smith, they are in custody. Another suspect Shawan Allen was killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers.