Houston: In a tragic incident, an 18-year-old US girl shot herself dead in front of the family after being relentlessly bullied on Facebook for her weight.
Brandy Vela shot herself through the chest in front of her stunned family members at their Texas home with a gun which her family members begged her to put down. Brandy, who was a high school senior, had sent her family a text message before shooting herself that read, “I love you so much, please remember that, and I’m sorry for everything.” Her parents and grandparents were at the home when she fatally shot herself.
“We tried to persuade her to put the gun down but she was determined. She said she’d come too far to turn back. It was very unfortunate that I had to see that. It’s hard when your daughter tells you to turn around. You feel helpless,” said Raul Vela, father of the girl. “(They) set up an account saying she was actually soliciting sex,” he said.
Brandy’s sister Jackie told CNN the teen had always been bullied for her weight, but the cyberbullying ramped up in April. “People would make up fake Facebook accounts and they would message her and she wouldn’t respond and they would still come at her,” Jackie said.
“They would say really, really mean things like, ‘Why are you still here?’ They would call her fat and ugly. She was beautiful, absolutely beautiful; the only thing people could find to pick on her was her weight,” she said.
Jackie said her sister changed her phone number and reported the bullying to police, but was told they could not help her. “[The police] couldn’t do anything because [the suspects] used an app and it wasn’t traceable, and they couldn’t do something until something happened, like they fight,” she was quoted as saying.
Texas City police Capt Joe Stanton said the detectives were interviewing the family and will be contacting people the family believes are suspects. “It’s extremely difficult to stop someone from sending messages when apps make it easy to remain anonymous,” said Tortorici, the communications director for school where Brandy studied.