Police name 15-year-old girl killed in ‘senseless’ shooting at birthday party

Homicide investigators are searching for a shooter who took the life of a 15-year-old girl at a high school party in Clayton County over the weekend.

Police have identified that girl as Laila Harris, 15, who is from St. Louis but had been living in Marietta.

A spokesperson for the Cobb County School District confirmed to FOX 5 that Harris attended Sprayberry High School.

"We need your assistance to find justice for Laila Harris," Sgt. Julia Issac told the public at a news conference on Monday.

She said a person was kicked out of the party inside ECM Hall Rentals Near Me on Citizens’ Parkway.


"He came back with an accomplice, and he shot up the location," Issac said.

When cops showed up, they said hundreds of kids ran away from the scene.

Isaac said investigators do not believe Harris was the shooter’s intended target.

Loved ones have started an online fundraiser to bring her body back home to St. Louis.

"Sadly she was tragically killed while attending a birthday party just doing what any fifteen-year-old likes to do, trying to have fun," the GoFundMe page read. "Now we’ve lost her to a senseless act of violence."

Investigators want anyone who was at the party, or who has video of the incident, to go to the police.

Following a series of shootings involving children and teenagers across Metro Atlanta, Mea Ballinger, a community activist who lives in the area, called for an end to the gun violence.

"This is ridiculous. And I know the saying that you don’t want to snitch, it’s not about snitching. You’re saving someone’s life," she said. "Some don’t want to hear it, but it starts at home. We need parenting. We need our teachers, our preachers, our educators to all come together."

Calls and emails to ECM Hall Rentals Near Me went unreturned Monday.

"Our hearts go out to Laila's family, friends, and the entire community," said the spokesperson for Cobb Schools. "The loss of a loved one is always difficult, and the holidays make the loss all the more tragic. School and District staff are available to talk to those who need extra support following the sad news."