SPRINGVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – Lily Conroy was a junior at Springville High school. Her friends say she had a beautiful smile and piercing blue eyes.
“She was just a happy soul,” said Saige Ewing, who played softball and volleyball with Conroy. “Just very fun to be around, sweet to everyone.”
Springville Police said Conroy was shot by her former boyfriend, 19-year-old Masao Kaanga, on Wednesday, after she had broken things off with him. Kaanga then shot himself and died.
Lana Hiskey, the community relations administrator of Nebo School District, says many students of Springville High School are devastated by this tragedy. The school district is providing resources to help the grieving students.
“We had a crisis team here as well as grief counselors,” said Hiskey. “And one of the things we wanted the students to know is that we have these resources available and to respect each other because everyone grieves so differently.”
The community of Springville commemorated Conroy’s life in different ways. The Springville High School softball team dedicated Thursday’s game to Conroy. Saige said playing for Conroy helped the team win.
“That’s going to be our thing for the rest of the year, going into state,” said Saige, “to play for Lily.”
Hundreds of students, friends and neighbors turned out for Conroy’s vigil, which was held in the neighborhood where both the Conroy and Kaanga families live in. Organizers said the two families are friends and neighbors, and the vigil was held between the two family’s homes to send love and support to both families.
Houses, trees and fences, including the Kaanga family’s home, were decorated with blue ribbons. Vigil organizers says the ribbon colors are inspired by Conroy’s blue eyes.
Police say Conroy’s family is honoring her life and legacy by continuing to help those in need, expressing their desire to donate her organs to a local family.