11:23 AM PDT, May 19, 2021
Friends and family of Tristyn Bailey gathered for a celebration of life ceremony in her memory Tuesday evening, during which she was remembered for once saying, “That’s my squad. You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us, because we’re family.”
While the 13-year-old’s quote was spoken years ago in reference to her cheer squad, the words resonated with the thousands that gathered both virtually and in-person at the Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, about 40 minutes away from their home in St. Johns County.
“Tristyn always made her presence well known, that’s why she shines so bright,” her eldest sister Britney Russel said during the ceremony. “Tristyn had a laugh that was absolutely contagious and had the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen.”
She went on to remember Tristyn, who was one of five siblings, for her TikTok dances and their trips to Starbucks together.
Like most others in attendance, Russel wore aqua, which was Tristyn’s favorite color.
Other speakers included the members of her family, which they called the “Bailey 7,” her high school principal and cheer squad coaches.
The 7th grader of Patriot Oaks Academy was killed earlier this month near her home in St. Johns County. Her death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office and determined she died by stabbing, with “significant injury to her head and other trauma.”
An 8th grader at the same school, Aiden Fucci, has been charged with second-degree murder and remains in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, where he will be held until the end of the month when the State’s Attorney’s Office will decide if he will be charged as an adult.
His lawyer, Anwar Snober, who had been representing him since his arrest, has filed a motion to withdraw from his council, WKMG reported Wednesday. Snober has not responded to Inside Edition Digital’s multiple requests for comment and it is unclear who Fucci will be represented by after his withdrawal.