News of the traumatic suicide of 18-year-old high school senior Brandy Vela sent shivers throughout Texas City on Tuesday after her parents witnessed the teenager shoot herself in front of them.
Brandy, like thousands of youths across America, fell victim to an epidemic of cyber-bullying that pushed her to the brink. Brandy managed to acquire possession of a firearm, the owner of which is yet to be determined.
She shot herself on Tuesday in her home as her family, parents Raul and Juana, begged her to reconsider.
Click 2 Houston reports her older sister Jacqueline’s recollections of the horrific event. After receiving a goodbye text message from Brandy which read, “I love you so much just remember that please and I’m so sorry for everything,” she immediately rushed to her aid.
She found her sister distraught with a gun pressed to her chest, refusing to consider any pleas made by her parents and grandparents.
Jacqueline reported hearing “the shot and my dad just yelled, ‘Help me, help me, help me’.”
Although no arrests were made in this case, investigations are ongoing.
Jacqueline spoke out on her sisters behalf, stating that her death was a result of tormenting cruelty by online bullies who would pick on her weight and design fake online dating profiles, slandering her name.
Her brother, Victor Vela responded to the sources of his sisters breakdown, sending out an online message reading,”I’m glad you got what you wanted. I hope this makes you happy.”
Although Brandy’s parents have not openly discussed their daughter’s suicide to the press, previous complaints of cyber abuse were reported to local law authorities with no actions taken to resolve the situation that ultimately led to her death.
Despite serious allegations of emotional abuse, Brandy’s school district claimed that her school was a “safe environment” for all students.
Melissa Tortorici, the Director of Texas City’s Independent school district described Brandy as having many friends, and “was thought of warmly by her peers and teachers,” however her situation was admittedly brought to light prior to Thanksgiving holidays.
Due to inability to track down the source of her bullying, Brandy was given advise to change her number to deter further abuse. Officials reported, “Our deputy investigated it and the app that was being used to send the messages was untraceable. We encouraged her to change her phone number.”
Brandy is not alone in her struggles with cyber bullying which as become an increasingly serious form of emotional abuse in recent years and should not be taken lightly under any circumstances.