Alaysia Bennett: 19-year-old shot in parked car: 'We lost an awesome girl'
Alasia Bennett wasn't supposed to be there. The 19-year-old from Springfield, Illinois worked full time and was planning to go back to college at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2017. She had dropped out due to financial reasons, but she was ready for the collegiate life once again.
How could she be in a parked car with three other friends -- and a gunman open fire?
Yet it happened. On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, early in the morning. Alaysia M. Bennett of Springfield was pronounced dead after being shot of multiple times, according to the Sangamon County Coroner's Office said.
No one else in the car -- a 24-year-old male, a 27-year-old male, a 23-year-old female and a 3-year-old child -- were uninjured, according to Fox Illinois.
Police are still trying to piece together a motive for the shooting, which happened at the Georgetown Townhomes complex in the 2400 block of West Washington Street -- and find the gunman. Friends and family are puzzled as to why it took place in the first place.
"Those shots were not meant for her," Courtney Meyer, Bennett's stepmother, told the State-Journal Register newspaper. "We lost an awesome girl."
What police do know is that Alaysia and her friends were outside the apartments to pick up a child, police said. They were not there "for a drug deal," a police officer told media.
Alaysia was getting her life in order. She had recently been hired at the Memorial Medical Center Express Care office and planned to save for college and re-enroll in the spring.
A GoFundMe account set up by her family says that Alaysia "was in her vehicle and was shot multiple times. She became unconscious and was driven to the hospital by her boyfriend. She suffered gunshot wounds to her kidney and through her heart. She later passed away during surgery.
"Unfortunately, because she was not currently attending college, her Father's insurance will not cover her funeral and memorial costs," the account says. Alaysia's GoFundMe has reached $9,000 of its $10,00 goal.
Anyone with information related to Alaysia Bennett's shooting is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 788-8427 or online at cashfortips.us. Tips can be submitted tips anonymously. Tips can also be sent by text. Type TIP672 plus a message and send to CRIMES. Informants are eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000.