Friends and family gather for vigil to remember valley teen shot, killed

Tonight, we're learning more about the teenager killed in a drive-by shooting Friday night. A vigil was held earlier this evening for 16-year-old Niani Allen. The shooting happened last night near 67th Avenue and Broadway. The victim was in one car and the suspect in another when shots were fired.

The girl was hit by a bullet in the head. Her friends took her to a nearby Walmart to get help and she later died at the hospital. Earlier today, the suspected shooter was identified and arrested on a murder charge and several aggravated assault charges.
 
Niani Allen's mother tells Fox 10 that Niani was a junior at Cesar Chavez High School and like many teenagers she spent Friday at a basketball game. Then she got into a car with a group of friends.  Sheriff's deputies say she was riding in the front passenger seat when she was shot.

Tonight, family and friends burned candles in memory of Niani.

"My sister was a great human being who was very pretty and very loving and very kind," says Desanae Clark, Niani's sister. "And she just got caught up in the wrong stuff at the wrong time."

Today, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies booked the suspect, 18-year-old Jason Christopher Lindsey Jr. Deputies say Jason and Niani were attending a basketball game at Sierra Linda High School earlier that night.

The two had an argument and then left. Jason was riding with his friends and Niani with hers...when both cars pulled up to the intersection. Deputies say that's when Jason shot Niani.

"We don't know what the argument was [about], that is still under investigation," said Officer Chris Hegstrom with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department. "Do we believe she was the target, we are not sure."

Niani was a high school junior who ran track and played basketball. Her loved ones say she wanted to leave a positive mark on this world.

"I want people to know and understand I'm sure whatever the cause and reason  behind this all that she was just innocent in this situation and she did make a change, said Karizza Smith, Niani's friend. "…And the little ways ...and she could just be remembered by her smile and she had a lovely smile..."

Sheriff's deputies say the relationship between the victim and the suspect is unclear at this time. Jason Christopher Lindsey Jr. has been booked on 1st-degree murder charges.


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