VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Kempsville High School honored fallen Senior Sidea Griffin with a special seat featuring a cap and gown, her picture and a rose during their graduation ceremony. The ceremony was held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
Moments after the ceremony began the student body president held a moment of silence in Griffin's honor. Her best friend and fellow Senior Jessica Corsale said she and Griffin talked about celebrating this day together.
"I burst out in tears and my friend CJ was like was trying to rub my back to calm me down. But there's no really calming you down at a moment like this, said Corsale.
Last January, the Kempsville senior died after she showed up at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital with a gunshot wound.
Police charged 17-year-old Ethan Torres with second degree murder in connection with Griffin's death.
According to our partners at the Virginian Pilot, Griffin and her boyfriend were planning to see a movie that night. But Griffin's boyfriend took her on a detour before the show, where she was caught in the middle of a bad drug deal.
Wednesday afternoon Griffin's family spent the day at graduation celebrating her life. They looked on from the stands as the school remembered the fallen student. Griffin's grandmother Patty McPherson said graduation meant so much to Griffin.
"She worked very hard for this day, years in the making and she's not here but I take this honor for her," said McPherson.
The family said they are still mourning the loss of their loved one, but her memory will live on.
"She touched a lot of students at Kempsville. Dea's memory will live on for a very, very long time. That's just the kind of person she was," said McPherson.