‘She will be missed by many and loved forever’: Massachusetts native killed in Virginia remembered for her ‘proud’ service in Navy

“Meaghan was the innocent victim of senseless gun violence while trying to help a friend.”

The family and friends of a Massachusetts native, who was killed Saturday in Portsmouth, Virginia, are remembering the 23-year-old for her proud service in the Navy and her love of “all things Boston.”

Meaghan Burns was one of two women who were shot and killed in what authorities have described as a double murder and suicide involving three Navy corpsmen, according to The Viginian-Pilot.

The 23-year-old native of Deerfield, Massachusetts, was helping a friend when she was killed, her family wrote in her obituary.

“Meaghan was the innocent victim of senseless gun violence while trying to help a friend,” her family wrote. “Meggy was a free spirit, a fierce and loyal friend and loving daughter and sister. She will be missed by many and loved forever.”

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Burns and 19-year-old Shianne Soles were killed in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven, and the body of 22-year-old Donovan Moora was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a car just over a mile away, according to the Pilot.

Burns enlisted in the Navy in 2015 after graduating from Frontier Regional High School. She served as a Hospital Corpsman in Naples, Italy, before she was stationed at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center.

“She was a proud sailor and was planning to further her career in healthcare at the end of her enlistment,” her loved ones said.  

“It was an honor to stand beside you,” wrote Angelica Real on Facebook, sharing a photo of Burns in uniform. “You were so sweet and so funny. I don’t have many memories but the few that I do are so pure. I hate you lost your life to senseless gun violence, you were so much more than that. A shipmate gone too soon.”  

Her high school said Thursday it would hold a moment of silence for Burns at a tennis match to “honor Meaghan’s service to our community.”

Her family wrote that a celebration of Burns’s life will be held later this spring.

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“Meggy loved the hills and rivers of Western Mass but she got some sand stuck in her toes when she was a baby on Nantucket Island and was a beach girl at heart,” the 23-year-old’s family wrote. “She loved Cape Cod, Southern California, all things Boston and her years traveling around Italy and all of Europe.”

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