Lexington mom accepts college degree on behalf of daughter killed in shooting

Lexington mom accepts college degree on behalf of daughter killed in shooting
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:04 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A special weekend for a Lexington mother. Priscilla Sandifer was at Tennessee State University this weekend, accepting her late daughter’s degree.

Amaya Victoria Taylor-Sandifer was one of two shot and killed early in the morning on May 7. Her mother, Priscilla, says she was an innocent bystander, dropping off friends at a party in Green Acres Park.

She didn’t believe what happened to Amaya, even after her friends told her what had happened. Nearly seven months later, she’s still struggling to come to terms with losing her only child.

“I dream about Amaya every night, and then to wake up and to know that I’m not gonna see her; that’s very hard to deal with,” Priscilla said.

No more phone calls, face times or the simple sound of her voice. What might hurt most is missing out on what Amaya’s future held for her.

“she’ll never walk down the aisle to be married. I’ll never get the chance to be a grandmother,” Priscilla said. “Just things that were taken away from us in that instant when they decided to shoot those guns.”

Amaya was eagerly preparing for that future in school and was just a semester short of receiving her bachelor’s degree in public health.

While a senseless act of gun violence took Amaya’s life away, Priscilla says the caring actions of Tennessee State University have ensured that no one can take away her hard work and her commitment to her education. On Saturday, the university honored Amaya at fall commencement by having Priscilla walk the stage for her. It’s a moment they should have shared and a stage Amaya should have walked.

Priscilla encourages parents to cherish every single moment they get with their children.

“You never know when it’s gonna be your last. If you need to make amends with your children, put the past behind you and move forward,” Priscilla said.

So far, no arrests have been made in Amaya’s death. Her mother is asking anyone with information to come forward.