15-year-old girl shot and killed in Detroit after family tells speeding driver to slow down

Posted at 9:11 AM, Oct 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 12:18:17-04

Family members say when a man celebrating his birthday with family saw a driver speeding in front of his grandma's house, he yelled at that driver to slow down. He never imagined what would happen next. That driver pulled out a gun and started shooting towards the man.

A bullet hit his sister, 15-year-old Jada Rankin, in the abdomen. The sophomore at Sterling Heights High School died at the hospital.

"She was a 4.0 student. She was a kicker on the Sterling Heights Football team," said Ralph Cobb, Jada's Uncle.

"She was so innocent. So sweet and lovable. Everybody loved Jada," said Janay Craig, a family friend.

"I love her with all my heart," said Delante Cobb, Jada's cousin.

Delante has cerebral palsy, and spent much of high school in the hospital. He says Jada made sure he felt cared for.

"She came to the hospital every single day, and I was in there for eight months," said Delante.

Delante shared a picture of Jada and him dressed up for his prom. He said he didn't have a date last year, so he took his best friend, his cousin Jada.

Jada's family says she was excited about being elected recently to the Homecoming Court at Sterling Heights High School. They expected to see her celebrated as Sophomore Class Princess next Friday at the Homecoming Game.

Jada's boyfriend tells 7 Action News he wanted to take her out for Sweetest Day on Saturday, but she told him family came first. She wanted to spend some time with her grandma who was not feeling well. She invited him to join her and her grandmother.

Detroit Police say they were called to Jada's grandmother's house on Ardmore near Schoolcraft and Grand River around two Sunday morning after the shooting.

"Her brother was celebrating his birthday," said her Uncle Ralph Cobb. "That is why she was outside."

A family member at the scene got in a car and tried to chase down the suspect.  There are conflicting reports over the type of car. During the chase, the family member lost control, hit a pole and was rushed to the hospital. Family members say he is in stable condition.

"You get mad because someone asked you to slow down, so you decide to shoot people?  That's not right," said Craig.

Detroit Police say they are still working to identify the shooter. Tips can be called in anonymously to Crimestoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP.