SEATTLE - Nils Dahlgren sits on a park bench. His eyes water as he tries to look into the great unknown.
“Somebody is out there now that murdered someone,” he says. The Bishop Blanchet High Soccer coach knew Molly Conley well.
“She was a great goalie,” says Dahlgren, about the 15-year-old about the crime which has now taken her life. “It’s hard to grasp myself,” he says, “We’re all just saddened by the loss.”
Detectives believe a shooter opened fire on Molly Conley and a group of friends Saturday night. They had been walking to the lake and celebrating her recent birthday at a sleepover.
Conley's friends were not injured.
Conley was a freshman at Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School and, according to the school’s president, was a straight-A student. Friends say she was also involved with lacrosse.
Blanchet President Antonio DeSapio called the incident a "tragedy" which impacts the entire Blanchet community. Conley’s brother and cousins also attend the high school.
Police say they’re investigating whether the shooting is tied to other “shots fired” calls near the Lake Stevens city limits on Saturday. Fresh bullet holes were found in other parts of the city on Sunday. A motive for the spree is unclear.
Molly's classmates met Monday morning for a prayer service before classes. Parents attended along with senior students who were on a scheduled skip day. Molly's brother, Johnny, had a message during the service.
"He just told us to be sure to say 'I love you' to the people that we care about because he doesn't remember the last time he told his sister that he loved her," said senior Ben Flanagan.
Her family says Molly was born in Seattle on May 31, 1998 at Providence Hospital. Her older sister, Tara Conley, is a senior at The Center School and older brother Johnny is a sophomore at Bishop Blanchet High School.
Molly played on the Roosevelt varsity lacrosse team with other Blanchet students, where her nickname was “4.0” because she was such a good student.
Molly and her mother started a non-profit charity last year called Mother’s Helpers to provide diapers, formula and other necessary items for mothers of children under the age of 2. The family is working on a way to set up donations for the charity.
"She always smiled, she gave people smiles, and she was joyful and kind. She had a generous spirit,” said Molly’s mother, Susan Arksey.
Arksey has asked that people sending condolences on Twitter use the term Remembering Molly instead of RIP Molly, the family spokesperson said. A Facebook page, Remembering Molly Conley, has been set up.
The Lake Stevens Police Department is working with the Snohomish County Major Crimes Unit and the Marysville Police Department on this incident. If you have any information you are asked to contact the Lake Stevens Police Tip Line at (425) 377-3214 or the Snohomish County Major Crimes Unit at 425 388-3845.
KING 5's Chris Daniels and Jake Whittenberg contributed to this report.