No arrest made in teen's fatal shooting as family, friends mourn loss
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
A Birmingham family that was looking forward to their daughter's senior year in high school, is now planning her funeral instead. Arrielle Lashawn Parker Jeffries was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting early Sunday morning in the Roebuck area. Her death represents another young life cut short by gun violence in Birmingham. Her killer is still out there.
Family tell ABC 33/40'S Amber Grigley it’s like a bad dream that won’t go away, especially after being hit with back-to-back gun violence. Just a month ago Jeffries' uncle was killed, following another aunt's and uncle's murders. They say Jeffries was a sweet girl and was loved by many. Now, they want to know why someone would want to take her life.
"When I walked in, I saw her hand inside my son's hand. When I looked in his face, I knew," said Tammie Owens, a close family friend.
Owens says she was at the hospital for a migraine when she got a devastating call.
"We we got the call to get to Children's Hospital, that there was word that Arrielle had been shot, of course we hoped that it was a rumor," said Owens.
"It just felt like bricks were on top of me because I'm like, 'When does it stop?'" said Crystal Crawford, a close family friend.
Just after midnight Sunday, police responded to a call about gun shots on Westwood Drive. When police arrived, there was no indication of shots fired. Shortly after, however, they were notified about a young girl that had come in to Children's of Alabama suffering from a gunshot wound.
"My thoughts [were] constantly, 'I wish she would've spent a night at my sister house'," said Owens.
Both Owens and Crawford say Arrielle had an amazing spirit that captured many hearts. Arrielle was a rising senior majorette at Wenonah High School and had big plans for her future.
"Arrielle [was] thinking she was going to have fun with her friends and go home. She never made it home because someone wanted to play with a gun or pull a trigger. Whether they were playing or whatever, someone took her life and that should not have [happened.] She should be here today," said Owens.
Arrielle is the second Birmingham high school girl to die from a gunshot wound in 2018. Huffman High School senior Courtin Arrington, an aspiring nurse, died in March. A 17-year-old girl was also critically injured in a shooting while at a Birmingham rec center in late April.
Birmingham Police urge anyone with information about Arrielle's death to call the homicide unit at 254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 254-7777.