DETROIT – It’s a mother’s worst nightmare. Latoya Foster is now grieving after her 16-year-old daughter, Ja’Miyah Lawrence, was identified as one of the victims in the deadly “random” shooting spree on Detroit’s west side.
Detroit police confirmed Friday that the unidentified female they were trying to identify was Lawrence.
Lawrence was shot and killed around 5:30 a.m. Sunday near Margareta and Wyoming avenues. The alleged shooter is a 19-year-old and is facing several charges in connection with a four-part shooting spree that Detroit police called a terror the community.
“To identify your 16-year-old is the hardest thing, the hardest thing any mother can endure,” Foster said.
Foster refers to her daughter as heaven-sent.
Lawrence was a high school senior planning to apply to Michigan State University. Foster said her daughter was consistently on the honor roll, a dancer, nacho lover and would use any chance she had to help her mom study for her nursing program.
“She would put herself and her issues aside and just love on you,” Foster said. “I think, as a mom, that’s what I’m going to miss the most, because you took something so dear to me.”
It was just a week ago Foster grounded her daughter and took away her phone. Foster said her daughter was so upset that around 10:30 p.m. the teen ran away. Her mother searched for hours, and filed a police report early Sunday morning.
“I had to constantly call and talk to the detectives, but I didn’t find out that my baby was in the morgue until Thursday, so she had been gone since Sunday,” Foster said. “Her birthday is November 7, and I have to celebrate it alone. How am I supposed to do that? I haven’t slept. I don’t eat. I feel like if my baby can’t eat, I’m not eating.”
Now Foster is hoping the pain their family is enduring will reach other young people.
“I pray that my daughter’s death is a wake up call for all of them,” she said. “It is not OK to get (mad) at your parents and just run out of the house. You don’t know if you’re coming back. I thought I knew my daughter was coming back. I just knew she was.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with Lawrence’s funeral costs -- click here to visit the page.