A 17-year-old cheerleader from Arizona, USA, identified as Desiree Rivas has been shot dead after she left a house party Sunday morning, May 14.
Police say they responded to a shooting in Tolleson, a suburb 13 miles outside of Phoenix, and found the victim dead at the scene, according to local media KPNX-TV.
Rivas, a student at Cesar Chavez High School in nearby Laveen Village, was a beloved student and active member of the school’s cheerleading team.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I post about the tragic loss of our amazing friend, athlete, and student Desiree. Our hearts are broken into a million pieces.” the Cesar Chavez High School Spirit line said in a statement on Instagram.
“May Dessy rest in peace and be surrounded by love and light. We love you, Desiree.”
Police said a suspect remains unidentified while they investigate what led to the shooting.
Neighbours recalled hearing the shooting and rushing to help Rivas.
“I was in the bed and I heard these gunshots, and they were loud. It seems like they were right in my yard. They were so loud,” April Stokes told FOX10 news
“I was scared to get up because I didn’t know where they were coming from, since they sounded so close.”
“She did have friends that did stay behind and assist her, and I was there with her,” one neighbor told CBS 5 after seeing Rivas. “We couldn’t sleep at all last night. I couldn’t sleep at all. I kept thinking about the mother and what she was going through,” she said.
School officials confirmed the death of Rivas in a statement sent to families earlier this week.
“Dear Cesar Chavez Families, It is with deep sadness that we share the tragic news about the passing of Desiree Rivas,” said Principal Robert Grant. “Desiree was a beloved member of our student body and an active member of our spirit line. She will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved her.”
“Desiree passed away after being the victim of a senseless act of violence this past weekend. She loved her peers and was a compassionate and caring member of our student community. At this time, we share our love, support, and sympathy with Desiree’s family and friends.”
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