Woman was with slain 15-year-old as she took her last breath

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – As homicide investigators search for a motive and suspects in the shooting death of a 15-year-old sophomore at Northwest Academy of Law, one witness is talking about how she was with the teen as she took her last breath.

Toni Stevenson was shot just before 7 p.m. Wednesday in the 6000 block of Thekla Avenue in the Walnut Park West neighborhood. Authorities said she was driving home from a basketball game when she stopped in front of her home. That’s when two masked gunmen ran up to the car and opened fire.

One resident, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons, said the teenager was the only person in the car when the gunman opened fire.

“Last night we heard the gunshots. Five minutes later we came outside, we knew the car windows were shot out,” she said.

The resident said she treated Stevenson like her own daughter and said she stayed with her as she took her last breath.

“We went over there. She was shot. I was on the passenger side, I say, ‘Hold on, baby, help is coming,"
she said.

Investigators believe this was a hit.

“I don’t think it was random, I think they were looking for the target and they found it,” said Lt. John Green, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Stevenson excelled in both academics and athletics. She played on three teams: basketball, soccer, and volleyball. She was also involved in a social justice club.

Those who knew the 15-year-old are in complete shock after her life was cut from underneath her at such a young age.

Both of Stevenson’s parents preceded her in death. Her mother died of cancer. The exact circumstances surrounding her father’s death have not been disclosed.