GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Intelligent, a heart of gold, unselfish, goofy - those are just some of the ways a 16-year-old girl is being remembered in Gulfport this week.
Imani Rogers died Wednesday, five days after she was shot in the head at a home in north Gulfport. The teenager held on for days after the shooting, unselfishly donating her organs to help save the lives of others.
The family of Imani released the following statement on Thursday:
"Imani Victoria Rogers was 16 years old. She was proud and looking forward to two special things. Her 17th birthday on June 24, and graduating with honors from high school. She was excited about her birthday because she was going to get her license and her first car.
While an honor student at West Harrison High School, Imani took advanced classes on their fast track program. Because of all the hard work she’s put in and after speaking with the counselor at West Harrison, her tentative graduation date was with the class of 2020. That was very special to her because she was only in the 10th grade; that’s a whole year early. Imani had already begun touring colleges to narrow down her long list of possible colleges. Her future career plans were to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
Not only was Imani very intelligent, she had a heart of gold. She was very unselfish and would help others in any way that she could. Daily goals for her consisted of her making others smile, as well as show others their self worth. She believed that everyone should have their own little happy bubble and if she saw that they didn’t, she helped them to create one by spreading the joy from within herself to them. She wanted people to know they were loved and their life mattered.
Imani’s favorite subject in school was Math. Her favorite things to do were be goofy in such a way to make others laugh out loud, sing and dance. Every time she had a chance, she would take pictures and videos of herself and with friends. She loved to travel, hang with friends, to get her beauty rest, and have family time. Her favorite colors were burgundy and purple. Her favorite food to eat was her Godmother’s shrimp alfredo pasta.
While we will miss her dearly, she will forever live in our hearts. As much as this tragic death hurts our family and the community, it warms our heart to know that on yesterday she saved five lives. Even in her death she’s still putting a smile on people’s face as well as still helping others."
The family is still making funeral arrangements. However, a balloon release in memory of Imani will be held at 2 p.m. in Gulfport at Jones Park Saturday. The family asks that anyone wanting to attend the memorial bring white balloons.
Another teenager, Latavion Bland, has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Imani.