Ashley MacDonald was a talented teenager who liked heavy metal music, favored black clothes, and had a lot of friends and a great sense of humor, family and friends said Wednesday at a funeral service for the 18-year-old Huntington Beach woman.
MacDonald's mother Lisa Marie Guy bent down to kiss her one last time before taking her seat. It was half-way through the service while listening to Coldplay's song "Yellow" that Guy broke down, shaking her head several times.
About 75 people attended the somber ceremony for Ashley Anne MacDonald at Dilday Brothers Funeral Directors on Beach Boulevard.
Police shot MacDonald Aug. 25 at Sun View Park near Bella Terra mall after she reportedly lunged at the officers while wielding a knife. She later died at Huntington Beach Hospital. The names of the officers have not been released.
MacDonald was shot at least a couple of times in the upper body but an autopsy will determine the number, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.
MacDonald had left her apartment on Sher Lane "acting strangely," following a fight with her mother, Amormino said. Police officers shot her after asking her repeatedly to drop the knife. MacDonald, instead of dropping the knife, continued advancing toward the officers in a threatening manner when the officers shot her, he said.
Officers had been asked to use "less than lethal force" such as a pepper-ball gun or a bean-bag gun when they confronted MacDonald in the park, he said.
Guy and other friends said she was carrying a pocket- or a carpet-cutter-like knife. Guy had a small slash on her right wrist from the fight with her daughter, Amormino said.
Friends and neighbors on Sher and Amazon streets are outraged about the shooting.
"It was the usual mother-daughter fight, which is completely normal," said Vinka Kilburn, a longtime friend of MacDonald and her mother. "How many police officers does it take to take down an 18-year-old child?"
Maria Cervantes, 18, attended Sunview Elementary school along with MacDonald but lost touch with her in high school. "I knew she had problems but I think we all go through that."
"Police should know where to shoot a person," she added. "They could have hurt her on the leg. You can't walk on one leg."
Guy's friend Gordon Jones agreed.
"They could have chased her around the field instead of shooting her," he said.
MacDonald was a "shy and very naive girl," Guy, a single mother, said. She loved the Harry Potter series, especially Hermione Granger, Potter's best friend and also a brilliant student at Hogwarts. MacDonald repeatedly drew pictures of Granger as well as other Harry Potter characters. She was enrolled at Coast Adult School.
MacDonald was about 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighed about 120 pounds, according to friends, who plan to continue protesting outside the Huntington Beach Police Department building near City Hall, the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's office, Vicki Saylors said.
Her daughter Amanda was MacDonald's best friend and read a poem, "Our angel from up above," at the funeral service Wednesday.
"It was totally unjustifiable," Saylors said. "They didn't give her a chance."
"People forget she stabbed her mother," said Carmen Diaz, a tenant in the Huntington Highlander complex where Macdonald lived. She described MacDonald as a skinny girl who was always hanging out near the front of the apartment complex.
"It's awful she died but you have to see the whole picture," Diaz said.
MacDonald was buried at the Good Shepherd Cemetery, 8301 Talbert Ave., after Wednesday's funeral services.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ashley MacDonald's friend Amanda Saylors wrote this poem about Ashley.
Our Angel From Up Above
Me, Delana and Ashley were partners in crime,
Together we spent all of our time.
When Ashley was here I had no fear,
To be myself around all of our peers.
When that morning I woke to hear my brother choke,
Then he told me the news and my heart broke.
They took Ashley's life,
But only because she possessed a small knife.
My eyes filled with tears as I thought of the years that the three of us were best friends,
But I know now that she will be in our hearts until the very end.
Whether Ashley's here or not we haven't forgotten, all the good times that we shared.
Ashley was a good person and she was amazing, and we all know that she cared.
And now each one of us knows how special she was, and we hope she knows it, too.
Ashley, you're our angel from up above, and we'll never stop loving you.