Family of girl in foster care shot, killed still waiting for state to release body

13-year-old’s accused shooter charged with manslaughter

Family of girl in foster care shot, killed still waiting for state to release body

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The body of a teenage girl killed in a shooting on Feb. 12 on Elane Drive has not been released to her family for burial.

Her accused shooter is charged with manslaughter.

The family of 13-year-old Arianna Smith told WAVE 3 News they’ve been asking themselves why this happened to their little girl. One of the teen’s relatives said her death hurts even more because despite her young age, she overcame a lot of obstacles with her little brother by her side.

A foster family was supposed to adopt both Smith and her brother, Rickey, 11, but her family said the teen ran off, leaving to stay at a home they deemed to be “nothing but trouble.”

A couple of weeks later, first responders rushed to that very home on Elane Drive trying to save Smith’s life after she was shot.

“It’s sad because this is a child! They had their whole life in front of them, and we’re burying another child,” Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Erika Shields said the night of Smith’s death.

Arianna and Rickey’s biological parents have not been in their lives, their family members told WAVE 3 News. Their mom has struggled with addiction. The kids’ grandmother died of an overdose the day after their uncle was killed in a shooting two years ago.

According to family members, despite being in prison, the children’s father had been attending parenting classes with hopes of being there for them when he is released.

The family said Smith is considered a ward of the state because she was in the foster care system. They’re waiting for the state to release her body so they can make funeral arrangements.

Smith’s suspected shooter is only 15 years old.

“You have a 13-year-old who is shot and killed,” Shields said. “That was not the purpose of the guns. Something went wrong, someone was an irresponsible gun owner. Certainly, at a minimum.”

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