Before she died at the hands of her boyfriend, at the foot of her home, Jackisha Bayard was a social-media fashionista with dreams of graduating from beauty school.
Her friends on Facebook and Instagram certainly knew about it. In the final days of her life — which ended in a barrage of gunfire Friday morning — Bayard, 21, posted photos of herself in a unicorn-themed hat, tank-top and shorts; an all-white get-up with a flowery jean jacket; and an outfit that even made a Miami Dolphins jersey look couture.
Her photos would often notch a couple hundred likes, and several comments. Most of them were happy. But on Friday morning, after 7:45 a.m., her Facebook feed turned into a digital eulogy, as someone took control of her profile and posted messages of mourning. Dozens of friends followed suit, commenting on her photos with favorite memories or expressions of love. The #RIPJackie hashtag has slowly started to circulate.
Bayard was at her home on Northwest 38th Street when her boyfriend called. He told her to come outside. But when she approached his car, 22-year-old Gregory Brown Jr. pulled out a gun and fired, Miami police said.
Bayard, who had attended Miami Beach Senior High School, was struck in the torso and chest before running away and collapsing as she approached her door. Miami police and Miami Fire Rescue responded to the scene, where they found Bayard but no sign of Brown.
“She was a loving person with a heart full of gold,” said Moses Kilpatrick, a longtime friend of Bayard’s who goes to college in Atlanta. “It hurts a lot of us.”
Bayard was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in “extremely critical condition,” where she later died, police said. Brown eventually turned himself in and was detained with the assistance of Miami Gardens police. Detectives have charged him with one count of first-degree murder.
She was a loving person with a heart full of gold.
Moses Kilpatrick, childhood friend of Jackisha Bayard
Kilpatrick, who attended elementary and middle school with Bayard and Brown, said he wasn’t sure what may have caused the dispute. They seemed like a happy couple, he said.
“My heart is still hurting,” he said.
Kilpatrick said Bayard was an aspiring beautician who would often practice on friends. She always had the latest clothes, and she was a fan of hip-hop and long nights out. She recently got hired at a Staples near downtown Miami, and she had been planning a July 8 pool party.
Kilpatrick last heard from Bayard at 10 p.m. Thursday.
“I love you and I’ll see you soon,” she texted him.
He flew into Miami Friday evening to visit family. On Saturday, he will join dozens at a candelight vigil on the block where Bayard died. The pain is still raw, but he knows his friend wouldn’t want him to be sad, but to celebrate.
“She would give someone her last if she could,” he said.