by Leyla Santiago
Monday, September 21, 2009
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The family of 17-year-old Desirae Douglas talked about her big heart, her big smile and her big ambitions Sunday night as they mourned her death early that morning from a gunshot wound inflicted during a rowdy underage drinking party near Muldoon Road and East 36th Avenue.
Desirae was a normal teenager in the eyes of her family members, who are now holding on to every memory.
"She was a girly girl," Tonya Carney, Desirae's aunt, said. "Liked to do the hair, the makeup -- all the fun stuff."
Photos taken just after she graduated from a youth academy show the 17- year old beaming. She had dreams of becoming a nurse.
"We don't ever believe it could happen to one of ours," Carney said. "We don't ever believe that, and this time it was one of ours."