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Dillard High students mourn slain girl

They were two 15-year-old girls who grew up together. But the relationship began to sour when one of the girls wanted more than friendship.
BY NIRVI SHAH, nshah@MiamiHerald.com

The day after a sophomore was shot and killed during school hours, a small group of students at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale gathered early Thursday morning before the start of classes to mourn the slain student.

The students, bearing teddy bears and balloons, met in the school's parking lot about 7:30 a.m. and held a short, impromptu vigil to remember Amanda Collette, 15 (pictured left).

Police say Collette was shot in a hallway near a computer lab on Wednesday by fellow classmate Teah Wimberly, 15, (pictured right) who was later charged with first-degree murder.

The two teenage girls had known each other since childhood, but the relationship soured this year when Wimberly wanted more than friendship -- and Collette denied her repeated romantic advances, friends and authorities said.

Police arrested Wimberly at a restaurant just steps from Dillard High, after she called 911 and told them she had shot her friend. Wimberly, a tuba player in the school band, was found with a gun, said Sgt. Frank Sousa, a police spokesman.

Broward Superintendent Jim Notter said the entire school community was ''devastated.'' Grief counselors were at the school assisting its 1,750 students on Wednesday and planned to stay the rest of the week.

''We are more than heartbroken,'' Notter said.

The performing-arts magnet school was equipped with hand-held metal detectors, he said, but the detectors aren't used to routinely search students as they enter the building.

Late Wednesday, at Wimberly's Fort Lauderdale home, where she lived with her grandparents, attorney Gary Kollin made a brief statement on behalf of the family.

''The family is grieving and in sorrow for the loss of a young girl,'' he said. ``They hope that God can bring comfort to the family and hope that with God's help, their daughter and granddaughter will receive help.''

Miami Herald staff writers Hannah Sampson, Diana Moskovitz and Jennifer Mooney Piedra contributed to this report.


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