Family, Friends Mourn 21-Year-Old Woman Killed New Year’s Day

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A new year’s day shooting has left a 21-year-old Huntsville woman dead. Police found Mercedes Morris shot and sitting in the passenger seat of a car at a gas station on Sparkman Drive Wednesday night.

HEMSI took the woman to Huntsville hospital. She died in the emergency room. Police are still looking for the person who fired the shots.

The shooter may think the Lee High School graduate was the only one hurt. Comments on social media suggest otherwise. Morris’ family and friends are grieving. They’re asking questions and begging everyone to stop the violence.

“I was at home in my room about to get ready for bed,” said Anna Gaddis.

Gaddis was ending her first day of 2014. Calls and messages seemed to stop time.

“I found out through my friend through a text message. It was almost 2:00 a.m.,” added Gaddis.

Gaddis learned someone killed Morris. They were friends who graduated Lee High School one year apart. Both were homecoming queens.

“To be crowned as homecoming queen and her passing it to me, I was honored because she was a well-rounded person, smart and funny,” added Gaddis.

Victor Marshall agrees.

“It’s pretty hard because that is who I grew up with,” said Marshall.

He and Morris were first cousins.

“We were kind of too young to hang with the older cousins and too old for the younger cousins. It was her and me kind of hanging,” added Marshall.

Police say someone shot Morris as she sat in the passenger seat of a car at a gas station. Marshall broke the news to his parents. He now has a personal message.

“We just need to stop the violence and stop with all the guns. It’s really not worth it to take innocent people’s lives like that because you don’t know how it affects the family,” added Marshall.

“To hear that she was shot, it just hurts my heart. I know she was a good person. She loved the Lord.  I just know she is in a better place now,” added Gaddis.

Huntsville Police told WHNT NEWS 19 Morris was not the target of the shooting. They would like anyone who knows about the shooting to call them at (256) 772-7100.