Charles H. Flowers High School senior Amber Stanley was the honors student, the loyal friend and — as Lisza Morton-Wilson remembers — the baker.
Two days before the 17-year-old was shot and killed in her Kettering home, Stanley baked a batch of chocolate cupcakes for Morton-Wilson, her science and technology coordinator at Flowers, on the first day of school, Aug. 20.
The night after Stanley died, Morton-Wilson said she ate the last one in Stanley’s honor.
“I would have never imagined this child would be taken away so tragically, someone that everyone loved,” Morton-Wilson said.
At least 100 students in the science and technology program under Morton-Wilson gathered Tuesday to remember Stanley by releasing balloons in her favorite color: pink.
Stanley was inside her Kettering home the night of Aug. 22 when an unknown gunman kicked in the door of the home, went to Stanley’s bedroom and shot her multiple times before leaving, according to Prince George’s County police.
County police are still searching for a possible suspect and motive behind the killing.
Stanley’s family was not present for the balloon release and is still grieving, Morton-Wilson said. She did not know of any funeral details as of Tuesday.
The release came one day after science and technology students asked their peers to donate a minimum of $2 to Stanley’s family to help pay for funeral expenses and in exchange receive permission to wear pink with their school uniform Tuesday. The school raised more than $800 for the family, Morton-Wilson said.
Kilah Weaver, 17, a science and technology senior from Upper Marlboro, said she has known Stanley since their days at Kettering Middle School. Weaver said the mood in the school has been somber, and students are struggling to figure out why someone would hurt the girl Weaver said cracked jokes and was always full of laughs.
“She was just so nice and silly and always so goofy,” Weaver said. “She never hurt anybody. She was always so cool.”
Before students released the balloons, senior science and technology student Samara Bharath led the students in a prayer that she struggled to get through as she cried.
“Please let them catch her murderer, Lord, and please keep her family safe,” Bharath said. “She wasn’t even a senior for a week.”