A family is pleading for answers. They want to know who shot and killed their loved one on the 4th of July. Hartford police say there were dozens of witnesses and they need someone to come forward.
This month Jayla Heaven’s family should be celebrating her 23rd birthday. Instead, they’re planning her funeral.
In the shadow of grief, family and friends came together on Thursday to remember Heaven. They lit candles just feet away from where she was shot.
“Somebody cut the life short of somebody who could have been anything she wanted to be,” said Heaven’s cousin, Jacqueline Gaston.
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Hartford police say in the early morning hours of July 4th, a physical fight at a house party on Shultas Place led to shots fired. Two people were hit. One survived. Heaven did not.
Investigators don’t believe either victim was the intended target but that they were just caught in the crossfire.
“She was a sparkle. She was a light. She was special. She supported everybody,” Gaston said.
At the vigil on Shultas Place, family described the 22-year-old as someone who was always smiling, always positive, and someone who loved to cook. They say not knowing who shot her has added to their grief.
“Whoever knows something, come forward because if it was your child, that’s what you would want,” Gaston said. “She had a whole life ahead of her, and somebody took that from her.”
Police believe there were dozens of people who saw what happened Monday morning. They and the family hope someone steps up to shine a light on whoever is responsible.
“I do want to get that justice because I feel like it wasn’t fair,” said Heaven’s sister, Ahsile Fearon.
“There’s no malice in our heart. There’s no malice in her mom’s heart. There’s no malice in the whole entire family’s heart. We are just asking for what’s due to us - justice,” Gaston said.
If you witnessed what happened that night or you have any information on the case, call Hartford Police.