One dead, 3 injured after a pre-prom shooting in Saginaw - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

One dead, 3 injured after a pre-prom shooting in Saginaw

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(05/24/13) - Police are searching for whoever is responsible for the deadly shooting of a 17-year-old during a pre-prom celebration Thursday evening. Three others were injured.

A spokesperson with the Saginaw Public School district says the 17 year old who was killed was a student at Saginaw High. Sgt. Reggie Williams with the Saginaw Police Departments says her name was Tonquinisha McKinely.

Grief counselors were at the school on Friday.

Police tell us Thursday's shooting had to do with a north east gang feud.

The other three people shot were all women. They are 18-year-old Uniqua Wicker, 19-year-old  Raven Howard and 39-year-old Pamela Jordan.

Police say an argument got heated and more than one person pulled out a weapon.

It happened in the parking lot of the Florence Event Hall at Florence and Salt Streets. Teens were in their prom wear when people started firing. Almost 300 people gathered for the pre-prom party.

The prom was at a separate location. It was about a 15 minute drive.

Williams says he has talked with the females who are in the hospital and they appeared to be doing OK.

He says he couldn't say how many shooters police are looking for.

"We have talked to several witnesses and we are working some leads, that's about all I can say right now about the suspects, we do have multiple suspects that we are working right now, that's all about all I can say about that," he said.

In the meantime, family members want the world to know that Tonquinisha was their angel.

"Everything that you did is going to be in remembrance to us, continue to smile and watch out for us, I love you," said Latasha Owens, Tonquinisha's aunt.

Owens is desperate for answers. She says she was with her niece Tonquinisha on Thursday during a pre-prom celebration. The Saginaw High student has just finished helping her cousin get ready for prom.

"People were arguing and we was all going to the car. We got ready to leave and she was holding on to her mom hand and one of the boy's that was arguing was one of her friends. She let go of her mom's hand, went back where they was arguing at to ask the boy why wasn't he at school and as soon as she was saying why wasn't you at school, they started shooting," she said.

That's when people tried to get away.

"We ran and got in the car and we was like 'where is Tonquinisha?' and her mom was like 'I bet you she got shot,' so we ran over there and seen was that her or not and it was her," Owens said.

Family members say McKinley was known for her fashion. She loved the spotlight and was extremely outgoing.

"I miss everything about her, she was like my daughter rather than my niece. She could cook good, I miss everything about her, she was always smiling," Owens said.

Dr. Carlton Jenkins, the superintendent, says the pre-prom party and prom were not connected.

Police are warning students to avoid pre-prom celebrations. There have been several problems with them in previous years.

"We sat with both high schools and talked about not doing this. Not gathering as a crowd. Our community needs to start stepping up. Start taking responsibility. Our teenagers included," Williams said.

Arthur Hill's prom is Friday night. Police encourage parents to tell their children not to participate in these events.

If you have any information about the shooting, contact Saginaw Police.

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