ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Jada Gonzales is being remembered as a giving person with a kind spirit and a smile that could light up a room. “The day before she had passed away, she was working. She volunteered to make these signs for the library and I think that in itself speaks of how she gave her time,” her mother Kateri Sanchez said.
Jada was known to have a passion for working with kids. She worked at the barber shop Sharky’s Cuts for Kids and as a Camp Counselor at a city community center. “She was so full of life, she was starting to come out of her shell,” her father Jasper Gonzales said.
Her parents describe her as a go-getter, a star student at Albuquerque Academy in her senior year, with plans to attend Texas Christian University. “She had her heart set on TCU and we had planned on taking a tour. We were going to go there in, I believe, February,” Sanchez said.
But instead of sending Jada off to college, the family spent Christmas morning laying their daughter to rest. The 18-year-old was shot and killed on December 18 at a house party in northwest Albuquerque near Pat Hurley Park. “Even still, it feels very, very unreal. Sometimes it feels like we’re just waiting for her to come through the door,” Sanchez said.
Jada may be gone but her parents say, she will never be forgotten. They believe she’s here in spirit. “We’re going to honor her by just keeping the happy memories alive of her and trying not to be so sad,” Gonzales said.
A GoFundMe has raised more than $20,000 for the family and funeral expenses. They say they’re incredibly grateful for all of the support.
Albuquerque Police could not release any new details on the case.