GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Family members of Deja Reaves are remembering her as a light and the life of the party.
Reaves, 18, was the freshman at North Carolina A&T State University who died Tuesday night after a shooting in the 1000 block of Sullivan Street.
A 20-year-old woman was also shot. She was not a student at the university and did not suffer serious injuries.
Reaves’ father, Jeremiah Frazier, said when he sent his daughter to the university from Chicago, he thought she was getting away from all the gun violence. The last text he received from her said she would call him tomorrow. Now, that call will never come from his little girl.
“The harsh reality of talking to the coroner’s office and detectives and funeral home directors,” Frazier said. “This is the reality, and it’s the worst feeling in the world.”
Frazier’s world stopped when he got the call his daughter had been shot.
“I was in disbelief,” he said. “I was hoping it was the wrong…person.”
The 18-year-old was a big sister to seven siblings and the best daughter Frazier could’ve asked for.
“Eighteen years is just too short of a time to even explain the potential that she had and everything in her life that was cut short, that she was going to completely just amaze this world,” he said.
Reaves was a talented singer.
“I’m going to miss her voice, her smile, her laughter, even her ambition to want to do things and be things that are way out-of-the-box and further than my imagination,” Frazier said.
Now, the father doesn’t get to see who Reaves would’ve become because someone else decided to pick up a gun.
Greensboro police told FOX8 that Reaves was not the intended target of the shooting, which happened at the Cottage Apartments less than a mile from campus.
It’s the same area where another innocent freshman Aggie, Kaneycha Turner, died last October.
“It was almost the same circumstances as Kaneycha,” said her mother, Latoya Rucker. “It bothered me and broke my heart all over again. It replayed in my mind.”
These parents want something to be done before another student loses their life to gun violence.
“No kid ever dreams of going off to school and being shot, being injured, anything like that,” Rucker said. “And definitely no parent expects to send their kid off to school and have to bring their kid back home in a casket.”
That’s now a reality for Frazier.
“It’s my family today,” he said. “It’s another family tomorrow, and it should be no more families. This has to stop.”
Frazier said the family is making funeral plans for Reaves right now. It will be in Chicago, and they hope to have a link so students here can attend virtually.