On Thursday, hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye to Kalya Ferrante, who police say was murdered when someone fired a high-powered rifle into a car she was riding in with her boyfriend over the weekend. She was 17 and had recently graduated from Memorial High School.
Ferrante was struck by a bullet from a high-powered rifle at about 11:50 p.m. on Saturday shortly after a graduation party with family. She was on her way to visit a friend and was riding in the car with her boyfriend. Ferrante was only around the corner from her home. The bullet went directly through the back of the vehicle, striking Ferrante and passing through another window, reported the Oklahoman.
Family members are asking the community for any information about the shooting.
As her family and friends, we cannot understand who would do this or why and desperately want anyone with information to do the right thing and come forward, Ferrante's parents, Roxanne Thornton and Paul Ferrante, said Tuesday in a statement, reported the Oklahoman. Kayla was doing nothing wrong. She wasn't in a place she shouldn't have been; she was just a girl coming home before curfew.
Police, however, are having difficulty coming up with any answers for the shooting. They have no leads or suspects at this time.
Nothing is off the table, said Sergeant Dave Walker of the Tulsa Police Department, reported Fox 23. It could be these people were targeted, it could be the car was targeted, it could be a total random act, it could be a mis-identification of the car.
On Thursday, a small memorial was set up on a corner of the East Tulsa neighborhood where she was killed.
Everyone is just in grief and in sorrow said Miriam Hawkins. Hawkins and other neighbors have placed flowers, stuffed animals, wreaths and cards in order to honor Ferrante, reported Fox 23.
Neighbors said that the incident is a terrible tragedy and must be rough for the parents and Ferrante's boyfriend.
It's tragic, just tragic, said Debbie Hodges, She was just a teenager, just graduated.
Ferrante graduated from Memorial High School a year early. She planned to enter a career where she could help children with disabilities. Friends, family and well-wishers attended a memorial service to honor the teenagers life which was cut short.
She made life-long, long-term decisions in the last year, said Jimmy Foreman, the Sandusky Avenue Christian Church youth minister who officiated a service at the church, reported Tulsa World. She often took up for them [youths with special need], almost to the point of getting into fights in the hall at school.
Foreman read notes from friends and family as they reflected on her life and shared their fondest memories of her.
Hold onto the memories, the happy pictures floating around in your head right now, Foreman said.
Foreman also said Ferranted had a strong faith in God, which she expressed with her friends and family.
We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Kayla Ferrante is in heaven, he said.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS (2677).