Paige Stalker's mother talks with Local 4 Defenders
16-year-old killed in shooting on Detroit-Grosse Pointe Park border
Jennifer Stalker lost her 16-year-old daughter to gun violence in December. Since then, she's been hitting the streets to find the person responsible and also help prevent the same thing from happening to another child.
"Paige was a wonderful daughter. Her brothers and sisters called her ‘Perfect Paige' because she was a fantastic student. Everyone that she knew, she touched," Jennifer Stalker told Local 4 Defender Hank Winchester.
Four other teens who were in the car survived the shooting.
"It all happened so fast. They were going to the movies. Then, Paige said, ‘Mia called. Mia's coming over and we're going to pick someone up.' As a mother, you're like, ‘Well, OK. Fine.' And she was like, ‘We'll be right back,'" Jennifer Stalker said.
But an hour later, her phone rang.
"A neighbor called, because the hospital didn't have my phone number, and said Paige had been in an accident and to go to the hospital," Jennifer Stalker said.
When she got to the hospital, she learned that it was more than an accident. Paige had been shot.
It's unclear why the teens were parked in the area, but police have said that the incident likely wasn't random. Police said the gunman likely knew at least one of the teenagers in the car.
Jennifer Stalker said she doesn't know what happened and wants one day to question Paige's best friend, Mia, who was also in the car. But she said right now just isn't the time.
"At some point, yes, but I know she's going through a lot, a lot right now herself," Jennifer Stalker said. "I just know that Paige … Paige didn't want to be there. I know certainly that she didn't. But then as a parent, you have to second-guess yourself."
Months have passed and no arrests have been made. There is a $160,000 reward in the case.
Paige's family has been working with police and Crime Stoppers to find the gunman and raise awareness for the prevention of violence. A march against violence in Paige Stalker's memory is planned in May.
Jennifer Stalker said she wants teens to be aware of their surroundings.
"If you have that gut feeling that you don't want to be somewhere, then, you know, call your parents or get out of the car, or have them drop you off at a store that is open. (These are) easy things that could have maybe changed things for Paige," she said.
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