Veteran police officer Imani Ruffins has probably seen it all in the streets of New Orleans, LA. From moderate to severe, it's probably safe to say she's experienced quite a lot as an NOPD officer with eight years on the force. But on the evening of July 3, 2015, she experienced something her position as an officer could have never prepared her for - the shooting death of her 20-year-old daughter Milan Arriola.
Last Friday, night Arriola was shot and killed while riding in a car. Needless to say, her mother and father, New Orleans Police Department Capt. Roy Arriola are devastated. So, the grieving mother decided to take to Facebook with an agonizing open letter in order to share a glimpse of her world that has been turned upside down because of a killer's blatant disregard for life, reports CBS News. On Saturday July 4, Will Reed was arrested during a traffic stop. The 20-year-old was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting.
Following his arrest, Ruffins' took to Facebook with a gut-wrenching open letter titled, "A Letter to My Daughter's Killer:"
Here's the text from Ruffins' heartbreaking letter:
"I'm sharing this today, because TODAY was a good day.
"I want you to know that in spite of you changing my life forever, I don't hate you. I feel sorry for you. Sorry that you've never experienced the love that Milan experienced, not only from her family and friends, but coworkers, classmates and random strangers.
"An unconditional, heart pounding, take your breath away type of love. I'm certain you haven't experienced this because you had no regard or appreciation for life. Milan was loved by so many people, she had the brightness smile. Contagious. Like a sneeze. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I prayed EVERY DAY. I prayed for "a girl" A humble, happy, healthy girl, in that order. I prayed that she had her dads soft spoken spirit, his humbleness, his smarts. I prayed that she had my eyes, my smile, my silliness.
"You see, how amazing God is? He gave me EXACTLY what I asked for. It's kinda of funny because when I was a few months pregnant I contracted chicken pox, the Dr. told me my unborn child was gonna be retarded, blind and probably deaf and I should probably have an abortion, but I said no. No because I knew God heard my prayers. My faith outweighed everything.
"August 27, 1994 until July 3, 2015 I told Milan Domonique Arriola 'I LOVE YOU' sometimes multiple times. For 20 years, EVERYDAY I talked to her whether via text, phone or face to face. I thank God for 20 years with my first child, my only daughter, my best friend. No one, not even you Will Reed can take that away from me and everyone who had the pleasure of sharing her life. So TODAY I'll pray for you, that God has mercy on your soul."
The heartbreaking letter has caught the attention of several news outlets and has since gone viral on Facebook. Ruffins has received more than 4,000 shares and words of encouragement from hundreds of social media users.
Although the definitive circumstances surrounding Arriola's death are still unknown, FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti recently shared a disheartening truth about New Orleans. He believes Arriola was not the murderer's intended target but, unfortunately, she was in the line of fire. "I'm sure she wasn't the intended victim, but it's still second-degree murder because he was intending to kill somebody when she got in the way. That happens a lot in New Orleans," said Raspanti.
Arriola's murder remains under investigation.
[Image via Facebook]