CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police in Clayton County on Monday identified the victim in a shooting at a high school party on Saturday night as 15-year-old Laila Harris.
The teen attended Sprayberry High School, according to the Cobb County School District.
"Our hearts go out to Laila's family, friends, and the entire community. The loss of a loved one is always difficult, and the holidays make the loss all the more tragic. School and District staff are available to talk to those who need extra support following the sad news," said a district spokesperson.
The Clayton County Police Department said they are asking for anyone who was at the party to come forward with information about the shooter. No suspect has been announced in the case.
Police said they believe the shooter was escorted out of the property at one point, came back and "shot up the location." They believe Harris was among the large number of teens who scattered as gunfire broke out and was shot in the crossfire.
Police said they did not know who hosted the party, which was at 1078 Citizens Parkway in Morrow, an address that appears to be an event hall. The shooting happened around 11 p.m. on Saturday.
According to police, the party was being held for students from across several metro Atlanta high schools. They said there were "hundreds of teenagers" fleeing the scene when officers arrived.
"At this time we're asking for assistance from the public, we're asking for anyone to come forward that has any information in reference to this shooting," Julia Isaac with Clayton County Police said at a press conference. "We need your assistance to find justice for Laila Harris."
Isaac said Harris was found with a gunshot wound near the entrance of the event space when officers responded.
"Someone at the party should know who he is," Isaac said of the shooter.
An online fundraiser was set up for the teen with a goal of raising $10,000. According to the organizer, the money will be used to have a funeral in St. Louis.
One of her cousins told 11Alive the family is saddened by the loss.
"Laila was only 15 years old. She had her whole life ahead of her and that was taken from her due to a senseless act of gun violence," Kailyn Crawford said. "We would just like to spread awareness in regards to gun violence and how it is affecting and taking the lives of the youth in our communities."