A teenage girl was reportedly shot dead by a stray bullet while attending a party at a vacant house in Casa Grande, Arizona.
17-year-old Hailey Stephens was a star student and cheerleader at Casa Grande Union High School who was struck by a stray bullet while partying at a vacant property on East Silver Reef Road on early Saturday morning.
According to the police, a gunfight broke out at around 1.30 am, resulting in two innocent bystanders including Stephens getting struck by bullets. While the teenager was quickly rushed to an ER in Phoenix, she was later that day pronounced dead.
The police have since arrested nine teenagers, five of whom have been charged with murder while the other four face trespassing charges.
“She was a great kid. She far exceeded our expectations all the time,” grieving mom Vanessa Stephens said in a tribute to her late daughter.
“She only had those 17 years with us. I made her my No. 1 priority from when she was born. For the past months I had been seeing signs of her maturing. It’s a horrible, awful crime.”
Speaking out was also the owner of the vacant house where the party took place. They said they were devastated by the news while revealing the house was left trashed by the trespassers.
Meanwhile, the girl’s father, Casa Grande firefighter Chris Stephens, called for justice as he thanked the community for the support.
“I know they didn’t go there meaning to shoot my daughter in the head, but they did. I hope they feel the pain that we feel and I hope they’re sorry for it,” he expressed.
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