The mother of a young woman shot to death took to Facebook to pen an emotional open letter to her daughter’s alleged killer.
Imani Ruffins, an eight-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, posted the letter to Will Reed, the 20-year-old man accused of killing her daughter, Milan Arriola, 20.
“I'm sharing this today, because TODAY was a good day,” the letter read. “I want you to know that in spite of you changing my life forever, I don't hate you. I feel sorry for you. Sorry that you've never experienced the love that Milan experienced, not only from her family and friends, but co-workers, classmates and random strangers.”
Arriola was reportedly riding in the front passenger’s seat of a Chevrolet Camaro on July 3 when, at around 8 p.m., she was hit several times by gunshots, reports The Advocate. Officers later identified Reed as a suspect in the killings, and he was arrested on July 5.
“Milan was loved by so many people. She had the brightness smile. Contagious. Like a sneeze,” Ruffins’ letter read. “From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I prayed every day ... for a humble, happy, healthy girl ... I prayed that she had her dad's soft-spoken spirit, his humbleness, his smarts. I prayed that she had my eyes, my smile, my silliness.”
“You see how amazing God is? He gave me exactly what I asked for. ... (From) Aug. 27, 1994 until July 3, 2015, I told Milan Domonique Arriola, 'I love you,' sometimes multiple times. For 20 years, every day, I talked to her via text, phone or face to face,” Ruffins continued.
Arriola's father is New Orleans Fire Captain Roy Arriola Jr., while Ruffins' brother is famed New Orleans trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, reports The Times-Picayune.
“I thank God for 20 years with my first child, my only daughter, my best friend. No one, not even you Will Reed can take that away from me and everyone who had the pleasure of sharing her life. So TODAY I'll pray for you, that God has mercy on your soul.”
Photo Credit: Times Picayune