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East St. Paul community remembers 8th grader lost to gun violence

(Via GoFundMe organized by Shelby Joy Adams)

A shooting in St. Paul left a 14-year-old girl dead. While friends and family are left with anger, sadness, and grief, answers are few and far between.

Monica Joy Halley, who lived in East Saint Paul, was killed during a shooting in front of an apartment building on Hazelwood Street on Wednesday morning. A 13 and 15-year-old girl, as well as a 19-year-old woman, were injured with non-life-threatening injuries. The four victims were taken to Regions Hospital, where Halley passed away.

“Monica Joy was a natural comedian,” Shelby Adams, Halley’s aunt wrote on a GoFundMe for her funeral. “She had recently joined the track team at Highland Jr. High School, she loved dancing, and she was a huge fan of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 - even though she was born 9 years after it stopped airing.”

No one has been arrested for the shooting as of Friday afternoon, although St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said he was working with St. Paul Police Chief Henry Axel on the investigation.

Despite this, a community rallied around Halley’s family and called for the shooter to turn themselves in.

“Show them how tough you are now and be accountable,” Marea Perry said, whose 21-year-old son was killed in a St. Paul supermarket in 2019, during a vigil on Thursday.

Halley’s passing has been felt around St. Paul, as her school, neighbors, and friends are left with a loss that, as of now, does not have a culprit.

Highland Park Middle School Principal John Andrastek wrote to families Thursday, saying the student’s death was a “devastating loss for any parent” and “also a terrible loss for our … school community. It is especially difficult when a young person dies, and it is not something anyone is ever prepared for.”

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