Killed before graduation, murder victim given diploma
BATON ROUGE - The mother of a nursing student who was murdered on New Orleans' Bourbon Street walked across the stage to receive her daughter's diploma Friday night.
Brittany Thomas was awarded an honorary nursing degree seven months after she was hit by a stray bullet in a reckless shootout. Thomas was one of ten people hit in the exchange of gunfire. She was the only one who didn't survive.
"She wanted to be a nurse," said Brittany's mother, Mariko. "She loved people, especially babies. She wanted to be a nurse who worked with babies."
Mariko says she will keep the honorary diploma next to her daughter's picture.
"We regret the fact that she was taken away from us so abruptly, but we know her life was not in vain," said Pastor Ronnie Williams. "We just believe that she's still with us tonight, she's not with us physically, but she's with us spiritually."
The only suspect identified in the shooting will be in court next month.