UALR Students and Staff Honor Murder Victim

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LITTLE ROCK, AR — Folks with the University of Arkansas in Little Rock took time today to remember a former employee who was murdered last week.

During the service, a friend described Yolanda Whitfield with two words: joyful and compassionate.

Little Rock police say Whitfield’s boyfriend shot her to death, but today family and friends chose to focus on the way she lived her life, not on how she lost it.

The service started out with a prayer from Whitfield’s father, Reverend Johnny Whitfield. Then, friends and colleagues shared memories of the young woman.

Wesley Baltimore said, “She is one of the most amazing friends I ever had.”

More than 200 people showed their love and support for Whitfield at the memorial service in her honor. It took place at the University of Arkansas Little Rock on Trojan Lane near the dorms. Whitfield graduated and worked at the university for five years in the student housing department.

Her friend, and former boss, Rikki Turner, said, “She cared so very deeply for any student she came across.”

Turner told family and friends that she remembers Whitfield’s first interview and how joyful she was even under pressure.

Turner said, “The last question I asked her was ‘why should we hire you over everybody else? It’s a highly competitive job there are a lot of people.’ And she replied very quickly, ‘because I’m awesome!'”

Along with sharing stories, people wore ribbons to honor Whitfield. Her father says she was a blessing to everyone she came in contact with.

Rev. Whitfield said, “Truly her life has been exemplified in the favor that God has shown to her.”

Family members say the support they received has been overwhelming, but they take comfort in knowing what a remarkable life Whitfield lived and how she impacted so many people.

Rev. Whitfield said, “That’s the way we remember her and that’s the way we choose to remember her.”

Whitfield also worked for Pulaski Technical College for about a year.

Little Rock police say she died from two gunshot wounds. Her boyfriend — Cory Brooks — is charged with first degree murder. Officers arrested him two days after the shooting during a traffic stop at Asher and University.

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