The cries of classmates and family mourning the death of 16-year-old girl Angie Monroy were louder than the frigid winds blowing Wednesday into the soccer field of Benito Juarez Community Academy.
“Angie always talked about how the school had such a beautiful energy, and she was right,” said Dafne Hernandez, a junior at Juarez. “Everybody is so together and so united.”
Monroy was a junior at Juarez and loved by many classmates. On Wednesday, her classmates organized a balloon release and a moment of silence in respect of her untimely death.
Hernandez and Monroy were friends since elementary school, and the two were “inseparable,” Hernandez said. Her passing has affected the energy of the school.
“It does feel different now. It feels strange not seeing her walk the halls,” she said.
Monroy was killed walking home from work Saturday night in a drive-by shooting. She is remembered as a loving person with “big dreams” who had the heart of a child. Police officials say she wasn’t the intended target.
“It’s really unfair that she had to experience all of this and her family,” Hernandez said. “She was a very beautiful person and didn’t deserve any of this.”
“We are all just trying to do the best that we can for her.”
Hernandez said the balloon release and moment of silence was “a way of saying goodbye for those who may have not had the chance” to do so.
Monroy loved balloons and bringing them to her friends on their birthdays, Hernandez said. She believes she would’ve been proud of the ceremony.
Hernandez urged the person responsible for her death to turn themselves in.
“It would just give us a lot of peace,” Hernandez said.
Monroy’s mother often broke down in tears during the ceremony.
Her sister, 22-year-old Joselyn Monroy, spoke on behalf of her family. She said her sister was really excited for the holidays. Monroy had recently bought Christmas gifts for her mother, father and brother.
“This Christmas, I don’t think we will ever have it the same way as it was before,” Joselyn Monroy said fighting off tears.
Manny Ramos is a corps member in Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster Sun-Times coverage of issues affecting Chicago’s South and West sides.