NEW YORK (CBS 2) – An argument at a house party turned deadly on Sunday morning, as a 26-year-old woman was shot and killed at a friend’s house in Queens.
The victim was an innocent woman who, police say, was just trying to protect herself and her friends. CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis spoke to her devastated family.
A family in Queens was struck with unimaginable grief after 26-year-old Avalisa Morris was shot and killed at a friend’s house in St. Albans. She was trying to close the door to avoid the gunfire outside.
“She tried to help, she tried to keep everyone safe – fight was outside, she tried to close the door,” cousin Lennox Grant said.
“That’s her. That’s Avalisa, that’s what she’d do,” aunt Joan Dawkins said.
The shooting happened at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning. A fistfight erupted in the street during a surprise birthday party at the home that then escalated into gunfire.
Neighbors say it’s the second deadly shooting on the block in less than a year.
“All this shooting and people dying, I don’t know what it’s all about,” neighbor Cory Johnson said.
Morris was not the intended target. She was guarding a side door of the house when the shooter opened fire, angry over not being allowed into the party.
“She’s one of those people that’s there for everyone, so it’s tragic – catches everyone by surprise,” Grant said.
One by one, shocked and saddened relatives arrived at the victim’s home, overwhelmed by their sudden loss.
At the scene, police spent the day collecting evidence, and say several witnesses at the party identified the shooter, getting investigators closer to making an arrest.
Family members, though, say no amount of detective work can bring Avalisa back.