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Family remembers, seeks justice for 16-year-old killed by stray bullet

Nya Mae Cope.JPG
Posted at 11:54 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 10:07:54-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Metro police believe a stray bullet that hit and killed a 16-year-old girl over the weekend was fired by someone in a large gathering near 38th and Arlington.

According to information from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the girl died after she was hit by a stray bullet while riding in a vehicle with her family just before 1 a.m. Sunday in the 6000 block of East 38th Street near the intersection with North Arlington Avenue.

The Marion County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Nya Mae Cope.

Nya Mae's godsisters, Laryssa Vest and Brittini Hill, said her tragic death has left their family in so much pain.

"She just turned 16 in February. She didn't get a full life at all," Hill said. "You took not only someone's daughter, you took a little sister from us. You took a friend from me. You took a granddaughter."

MORE | Gofundme for Nya Mae's funeral expenses

What makes the situation harder for them is that Nya and her mom, Nikki, were just in the wrong place at the wrong time trying to get some food and then heading home to Marion from Indianapolis.

"Whatever way they took, she ended up having to take a detour because they were working on the road or something," Vest said. "She ended up going a different way she doesn't usually go and that happened."

Those who knew and loved Nya are posting tributes to her on social media, many demanding justice for the teenager killed before she even had the chance to live life.

"She was real girly. She liked getting her hair done," Vest said.

Hill has a message for the person who fired the shot and anyone else who hears her story.

"We have the right to carry guns, but keep them in your house in case someone breaks in," Hill said. "There's no reason for people to be walking around the streets with guns. I hope people learn from this."