DETROIT, Mich. --A Michigan family is devastated after a 15-year-old girl was shot and killed outside her grandmother's home on Detroit's West Side.
While police continue to search for the suspect, WXYZ reports Sterling Heights High School is preparing to help their students cope with the loss.
By all accounts, Jada Rankin was the kind of person who lit up a room. It made her absence deeply felt at school on Monday.
"She's one of our absolutely brightest and best - on the homecoming court, very much involved in school. Unfortunately, this is Spirit Week for the school. Today is the first day of Spirit Week. She exemplifies what it means to be a Sterling Heights Stallion. It's a tough day for the whole community," said Robert Livernois, Superintendent, Warren Consolidated Schools.
Jada was a 4.0 student, a kicker for the football team and had just been elected sophomore homecoming princess. But her bright future came to an abrupt end while celebrating her brother's birthday at her grandmother's home on Detroit's West Side on Sunday morning.
Family members said a dark blue mid-sized sedan came speeding down Ardmore Street and someone yelled at the driver to slow down. In response, the driver pulled out a gun and opened fire. Jada was hit in the stomach and died at a nearby hospital.
"The challenge in this situation for most of the students that know Jada well is that she's here one day and gone the next. There really is no answer, unfortunately, other than to be there and support them and let them express themselves," Livernois said.
Plans are in the works to remember Jada at a school event sometime this week. About a dozen members of the school district's crisis team are being made available to students and staff.
Classmates wore pink and purple to school on Monday to honor Jada as police continue to search for her killer.