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Teen victim recalled as 'super girl'

Jennifer Mejia, 18, left, with her mother, Antonia.

Jennifer Mejia, 18, left, with her mother, Antonia. Jennifer was one of the victims found shot and killed at Haven Drugs in Medford on June 19, 2011. Credit: Handout

As her family grieved Monday, those who knew Jennifer Mejia remembered the high-school senior from Medford as the type of child every parent would want.

Mejia was one of four people shot to death Sunday when a gunman walked into a Medford pharmacy and stole an unspecified amount of prescription drugs.

Mejia, 17, a pharmacist's assistant at Haven Drugs, was to attend her prom on Wednesday and graduate Thursday from Bellport High School. She was going to Suffolk Community College in the fall, with dreams of being a nurse or a doctor.

"It's a horrific, horrible crime," said Joe Cipp, the superintendent of the South Country School District.

Cipp was among several officials from the high school and school district who visited the Mejia home Monday, to pay their respects and offer the family their support.

"God bless them and give them the strength to get through this horrible time," Cipp said.

The superintendent said he knew Jennifer personally and described her as a "super girl, very friendly -- the type of kid you would like your kids to be."

Sandra Rosales, 18, met Jennifer on the bus in fifth grade on the first day of school and "we became friends right away." They last spoke on Friday night, about what they were going to wear to graduation.

"She cared about everyone, and everyone loved her, and I think I can speak for everyone that met her, that she was so special," Rosales said. "It's not fair."

The Rev. Freddy Lozano, head of the Hispanic Apostolate for the Roman Catholic Church in Brookhaven Town, said the Mejia family took part in a Mass he celebrated Saturday night, recalling that Jennifer brought the offering of bread and wine to the altar during the Mass.

". . . and the next day she gave her life," Lozano said in Spanish.

Lozano said the Mejia family is extremely active in the church, regular attendees at the Spanish Mass at St. John the Evangelist in Center Moriches.

The priest said last year he took Jennifer and her parents to his native Colombia for her Sweet 16 celebration.

"... No one understands this," he said. "He was a crazy person. He killed four people."

School officials said they have formed a crisis response team to try to help students, teachers and parents cope with the tragedy.

Also on Monday afternoon, two Suffolk County detectives returned Jennifer's car and personal belongings.

After her car, a gray Nissan Altima, pulled into the driveway, Jennifer's younger sister, Leslie, 16, came from the house and got into the front passenger seat. There, she wept.

With Gary Dymski and Matthew Chayes

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