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.

Comments (5)
  1. ELAINE PETERS says:

    i am soo saddened my the terrible tradegy did not knw AVALISA, but been a friend of her aunt i did cz all i cud hear wz kerr . kerr as she wz fondly called i am stil in shock frm these terrible an senseless act of killing of our young people , and our famillies an friends by these cowards who believe that they can only settle a score , by firing their guns ,I kno wat this family is goin tru i av bin their lost a cousin an a childhood friend of my son who wz very close to my heart .All young pple GONE TOO SOON, bcz of these senseless killings ,REST IN PEACE AVALISA SLEEP ON UR AN ANGEL WE ALL NEEDED U .BUT BCZ UR ONE OF GODS ANGEL .HE NEEDED U MORE MY PRAYERS AND MY THOUGHTS WILL ALWAYS B WITH YUR FAMILY WE LOVE AND WIL SURELY MIS U

  2. FLoW says:

    RIP Avalisa We Will Miss You.

  3. 01608 says:

    St. gov. Could care less about illegal guns, what they care about is getting more MONEY from US.

  4. Micha says:

    There is almost nothing worse than fools with guns. RIP Avalisa- too bad the people causing the fight couldn’t have met that fate instead 🙁

  5. nyc says:

    Here we go again ! With tens of thousands of Illegal weapons on the streets of New York, this unfortunatly will continue. I believe in owning a weapon legally. Why can’t someone stop the flow of Illegal guns ? When N.Y. had a cash for guns program ,six thousand guns were turned in – can you believe it !

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