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St. Paul 8th grader killed in shooting remembered as vibant, joyful

St. Paul 8th grader killed in shooting remembered as vibrant
St. Paul 8th grader killed in shooting remembered as vibrant 01:58

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- An eighth grader's family said their girl was caught in the crossfire.

Monica Joy Holley, 14, lost her life Wednesday night in St. Paul. Three other teenagers were hurt, in what an online fundraiser describes as a shootout.

A candle, flowers and teddy bear marks the place, outside Parkview Apartments in St. Paul, near where Holley was shot and killed.

An online fundraising effort to pay for funeral expenses describes the middle schooler as a bubbly, natural comedian who loved dancing.

The 8th grader had just joined the track team at Highland Park Middle School.

In a message sent to parents, school principal John Andrastek wrote that a district crisis team was at school meeting with students Friday. Counselors and social workers were available for students, offering support, he wrote.

Unfathomable news for Paul Thompson, who was outside the school today to pick up his ninth-grade son.    

"When I was his age, it was just worry about homework, shootings were something your dad or your uncle did when he went hunting," said Thompson. "I feel bad for the kids because it affects them, it affects all of them."

On social media, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter called the shooting infuriating, while offering condolences.

"It's significant frustration, there's not words you can put around having to bury an eighth grader, a young girl in our community," Carter told WCCO during a Zoom call.

The mayor said the city has been working closely with police and the Office of Neighborhood Safety, to give support to families and to disrupt what Carter calls cycles of violence.

"I don't think there's anybody better than our St. Paul Police Department at making sure that people who pull triggers and take lives in our community are identified, are apprehended and are held to justice," the mayor said.

No one has been arrested for the shooting. Police said they didn't have any new developments to share.

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