Green Lake

Hundreds remember 'tomboy' with braids gunned down in Lake Stevens

Hundreds remember 'tomboy' with braids gunned down in Lake Stevens
SEATTLE--Molly Conley was too young for this.

Hundreds packed Seattle's Bishop Blanchet High School Saturday to honor and remember the 15-year-old student who was gunned down last week as she was walking down the street with her friends in Lake Stevens.

While the family waits for answers why she was killed in an apparently random drive-by shooting, a community stopped to pay tribute and remember the life of a daughter, student and friend taken too soon.

The life and love she brought to the world have been replaced now by a dull numbness. And a question with no answer: "why?"

She was a tomboy. she wore her hair in braids for the longest time.

She was a straight-A student...a three-sport athlete...had a dry wit...a sly smile...and loved drama and geometry.

"That's our Molly, the one with the braids...point guard No. 11...the goalie," Molly's dad John Conley said.

"Her toughness sent me to the (emergency room) twice," her brother Johnny Conley said.

She'd gone to her first formal dance this year as a freshman--she grudgingly put on heels and the works and blossomed before her parent's eyes.

Molly Conley was the kind of kid families are so proud of.

The kind communities are built around.

"She found a way to transcend so many of the barriers that divide people with a mix of wit and sarcasm and vivacious spirit and gently broke down barriers," John Conley said.

She wasn't a showy kid.

Was comfortable in her own skin.

Didn't demand the spotlight, athletically or otherwise, but earned it.

The randomness of her death send chills.

The purposefulness of her life gives hope.

And so hundreds of kids have been forced to learn a secret that we hide from them as long as we can: that the world can be cruel and heartless.

That life is a delicate and fleeting thing.

That fairness is just a word someone made up.

"Molly gave love every single day of her life. I love you Molly," her brother said.

But they've also learned, in case they didn't know, what one good kid can mean to so many.

Friendships made.

Smiles offered.

Lives touched.

They've learned that in the end, especially in the end those things mean something. They really do count.

They learned that lesson from Molly Conley, who was too young for this.