A 15-year-old girl was one week away from being crowned homecoming princess at her Detroit high school where she was straight-A student, but instead her family is preparing for her funeral after she was shot and killed.
Jada Rankin died early Sunday morning after being hit by a bullet from an unknown gunman in front of her grandmother’s home on the 14000 block of Ardmore in the city.
Her family says a ‘maniac’ had been speeding up and down the street around 2am when someone in the family asked for the driver to slow down.
Instead, the man pulled out a gun and started firing at the crowd of family and friends who were preparing to leave the home following a birthday celebration.
The straight-A student who attended Sterling Heights High School, located in the suburbs, was hit in the abdomen and died shortly after at Sinai Grace Hospital.
‘They were outside, everyone was getting ready to go home,’ the victim’s grandmother, Minnie Hill, tearfully told WJBK.
‘My grandson was getting ready to get in his car, and the guy sped past him.
‘He said man, be careful, stop speeding, and he (in speeding car) just opened the car door and started shooting. He shot seven times.’
A family friend hopped into his car and chased after the shooter, however, he lost control and crashed into a pole.
He suffered minor injuries as a result of the accident.
Detroit police say the shooter was driving a gray or silver sedan, possibly a Chevy Impala or Lumina from the mid-2000s.
The victim’s family and friends have been left devastated from losing her, as they describe her as a ‘sweet and lovable’ teen.
‘She was a 4.0 student. She was a kicker on the Sterling Heights Football team,’ Ralph Cobb, Jada’s Uncle, told WXYZ.
‘She was so innocent. So sweet and lovable. Everybody loved Jada,’ Janay Craig, a family friend, said.
Her cousin and best friend, Delante Cobb, said that he loved her with ‘all of his heart.’
He suffers from cerebral palsy, and as a result has spent much of high school in the hospital for treatment.
‘She came to the hospital every single day, and I was in there for eight months,’ he said.
The sophomore was excited about being recently elected to the homecoming court at the high school.
Her family says she would have been crowned as sophomore class princess next Friday at the homecoming game, but instead they are now preparing for her funeral services.
‘She was everything to everybody,’ Hill said while crying.
Of the gunman, she added, ‘I just hope he knows what he did to our family.’
Detroit Police are asking anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.