UPDATE: Senior Ashley Perdomo dies in hit-and-run

October 13, 2016

According to the Tampa Bay Times, a suspect in the hit-and-run has been arrested. Clearwater resident Nikolaos Konstantinou,  a 56-year-old, was taken into police custody after he was caught filing an insurance claim for his damaged car, the same one suspected to have killed Perdomo.

Earlier: Silence fell across the school as the announcement was made: one of our Terriers had passed away.

Last night, senior Ashley Perdomo died in a hit-and-run.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Perdomo’s brother was waiting to pick her up, as usual, from a public bus stop after she finished work. When she didn’t show up at the stop, he used a GPS mobile application to track her cell phone. The phone was stopped at a spot on Hillsborough Avenue, but then he noticed it started moving again. She was being rushed to the hospital. A car had hit her while she was crossing the street. The driver kept going.

“Yo quiero justicia,” Perdomo’s mother told the Times. “I want justice.”

“It’s hard to believe that something so tragic could happen to such a good person,” said Perdomo’s Spanish teacher, Maria Gonzalez. “It’s just really heartbreaking.”

Due to the loss, many teachers canceled lessons for the day. Students left classes in tears and headed into the auditorium, where counselors were available for comfort.

“I knew her since sophomore year. We had English together. [This year] we only have two classes together: second and sixth,” said senior William Coleman. “It hurts to [now] look at her seat and know she won’t be filling it anymore.”

Students gather for a photo at a recent FCCLA event. Ashley Perdomo is second from the left. Photo courtesy of Charlene Dorsey.
Students gather for a photo at a recent FCCLA event. Ashley Perdomo is second from the left. Photo courtesy of Charlene Dorsey.

Perdomo was an administrative officer, in charge of organizing events and ideas, of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club. In a PowerPoint she made about herself for one of her classes, Perdomo listed her favorite hobbies as modeling, dancing, reading and hanging out with friends. She also expanded on her love for Bachata, Hip-Hop and R&B, pizza and salchipapas.

“She was sweet to everybody,” said senior Nichelle Maldonado. “You never heard of her being in an argument with anyone. She was outgoing and humble at the same time.”

Friends and teachers described Perdomo as an uplifting, positive person who had many opportunities ahead for her.

“She was one of my closest friends,” said senior Kyle Allen. “As I was getting ready to go to the hospital, I got the news that she passed. I felt so heartbroken. [I know ] all her friends are mourning over her, [but] she’d rather them be happy and feeling well.”

Perdomo will be honored with a moment of silence at Friday’s football game against Blake. Principal Gary Brady said the school will present a high school diploma to her family at graduation in May 2017.

A $3,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest of a suspect in the case. Reach Crime Stoppers at (800) 873-8477, report anonymously crimestopperstb.com or send a tip using the P3 Tips mobile application.

Additional reporting by Amber Shemesh

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