NORTH LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – Family, friends and classmates remembered 19-year-old Paula Davis with a candlelight vigil Thursday night.
“She was a great teacher, she was a great listener and she always tried to get people involved in what she was doing,” one friend said.
Just days before her death, Paula had broken things off with her boyfriend, 21-year-old UNLV grad student, Giovanni Ruiz. Her family said Ruiz had become possessive and controlling, not wanting Paula to pursue her dreams with the FBI, go on trips or hang out with other men. Her family said Paula agreed to meet up with Ruiz to finalize the breakup on Friday morning, the same day she was killed. Her father found Paula inside the family van with gunshot wounds to the head.
Her vigil was held in the very same parking spot, at Desert Horizons Park.
“We’re a family. We really are… and when we heard she was gone… we lost a family member,” a high school cross country teammate said.
Hundreds of Paula’s friends, family, classmates, teachers and supporters attended the vigil. They placed flowers, candles and prayed for the young woman whose life was taken too soon.
“From the first time that I met her ... she was always this welcoming spirit. She never made you feel bad about yourself,” a longtime friend said.
At UNLV, Paula was studying economics with dreams of becoming a FBI agent. She volunteered through her church. It was her love of service that inspired her to help others. Now that’s the legacy she’s left behind.
“She said, 'When I die, I don’t just want to be remembered for my talent and skills,'" her cross country coach said. “She wanted to be remembered for the kindness and good deeds that she spread around to each and every person she touched. I think that’s important that we take that away with. We take good deeds and we pay it forward for Paula.”