16-year-old girl identified as victim of ‘random’ shooting in Detroit

DETROIT “It’s a mother’s worst nightmare. Latoya Foster is now in mourning after her 16-year-old daughter, Ja’Miyah Lawrence, was identified as one of the victims of the “random” shooting death in Detroit’s west end.

Detroit police confirmed on Friday that the unidentified woman they were trying to identify was Lawrence.

Lawrence was shot and killed around 5:30 a.m. Sunday near Margareta and Wyoming avenues. The alleged shooter is a 19-year-old and faces multiple charges in connection with a four-part shooting that Detroit police have described as a terror to the community.

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Read more: Teen charged in 4-part shooting that killed 3 people, injured man and dog in Detroit

“Identifying your 16-year-old is the hardest thing, the hardest thing a mother can go through,” Foster said.

Foster calls her daughter heaven-sent.

Lawrence was a high school student who planned to apply to Michigan State University. Foster said her daughter is a regular on the honor roll, a dancer, a nacho lover and would take any opportunity she gets to help her mother study for her nursing program.

“She would put herself and her problems aside and just love you,” Foster said. “I think as a mom, that’s what I’m going to miss the most, because you took something so dear from me.”

It was barely a week ago, Foster punished her daughter and took her phone away. Foster said her daughter was so upset that around 10:30 p.m. the teenager ran away. Her mother searched for hours and filed a police report early Sunday morning.

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“I had to constantly call and talk to detectives, but I didn’t find out my baby was in the morgue until Thursday, so she had been gone since Sunday,” Foster said. “Her birthday is November 7, and I have to celebrate alone. How am I supposed to do this? I haven’t slept. I’m not eating. I feel like if my baby can’t eat, I do not eat.

Now Foster hopes the pain their family endured will reach other young people.

“I pray that my daughter’s death will be a wake-up call for all of them,” she said. “It’s not right to get (angry) at your parents and run away from home. You don’t know if you’re coming back. I thought I knew my daughter was coming back. I just knew that she was.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family pay for Lawrence’s funeral costs. Click here to visit the page.

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