A candlelight vigil was held in Northeast D.C. Monday night to celebrate the life of Anaiona (Anana) Gaston.
The 19-year-old was shot and killed in Southeast on July 30 as she held her two-month-old daughter in her lap.
Queen Afi Gaston, Anaiona’s mother, made sure it was positive vibes.
“This positive energy is coming straight from my daughter,” she said.
With scores of people praying, embracing and, of course, smiling for “Smiley,” as they called Anaiona.
“No matter what was going on with her life, no matter what adversity she faced, she always had a smile on her face,” said her friend Ashanti Martinez. ”She always was positive, just a fun loving person.”
Police said Anaiona was shot and killed in an apartment by her 21-year-old boyfriend, Malik Fields, as she held their daughter in her lap.
Fields told police the shooting was an accident, that he didn't realize the gun was loaded. But there are questions as to whether it was domestic violence.
Anaiona's mother works with victims and abusers of domestic violence. Even when it involves her own daughter, she said she is ready to get to work.
“I don't have no animosity towards him or my daughter. I’m going to work with him,” she said. “I want him to be transformed, because he has a daughter out here that's going to need him.”
She's doing it for her granddaughter, and for the next victim of domestic violence.
“I want people to go through a tragedy with love,” she said.
The same love that filled Anaiona sustains her mother, and that hopefully guides her baby daughter.
“She’s smiling down from heaven right now just enjoying this,” she said.