A Central Kentucky community is shaken after learning a promising young woman was shot and killed over the weekend. 23 year old Chiara Levin grew up in Danville and just graduated from college last year.
Levin was visiting family in Boston when she attended a house party with friends. Officials say that party turned violent and several shots were fired. Police say one of them hit the 23 year old in the head. She died at a nearby hospital.
Boston police are trying to track down anyone that might have been in the area of the shooting.
They say it could be gang related and Levin might just have been caught in the cross fire.
BOSTON (AP) - A Kentucky native who was visiting Boston for a family celebration died when she was caught in a hail of gunfire in a rundown neighborhood.
Police were searching for the shooter Sunday as 22-year-old Chiara Levin's relatives and friends struggled to understand how the young woman's life could have ended so abruptly.
Levin and two male friends left a bar when it closed at 2 a.m. on Saturday and had gone with a larger group to an after-hours house party in one of the city's crime hot spots, police said. She was in a car with her friends getting ready to leave when an argument at the party erupted in a gunfight, and she was shot in the head.
"There were five or six shots. I ran to make sure my children were in bed. I looked out the window and there were two black cars," neighbor Jocelyn Duran, 39, told the Daily News. "A guy was screaming, 'Go, go, go!' and the two cars sped off in different directions."
Levin's friends took her to Boston Medical Center themselves, where police were called at about 3:58 a.m. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said there was a significant lapse in time between the shooting and when Levin arrived at the hospital.
"They didn't drive her immediately to the hospital," Davis told the Boston Herald.
Levin's best friend, Robyn Sussman, told the Daily News she spoke with both of the people who were in the car with the ill-fated woman the night of the shooting. She said they tried to get Levin to the hospital right away.
"These are good kids, good friends of hers, much more upset than we could be because they saw it happen," Sussman said.
Levin, originally of Danville, Ky., was working at Judson Management in Manhattan, N.Y., where she had moved after graduating from the University of Michigan.
While she had often told her relatives and friends of her desire to work internationally - and had traveled widely overseas - she had taken the job in Manhattan to be close to friends.
The young woman had shown promise, according to educators in Levin's home town. Angela Johnson, Levin's principal at Danville High School, told the Daily News her death was a great loss. "She was such a terrific human being, struck down in her prime," Johnson said. "We looked forward to seeing what she was going to accomplish and it's just not to be."
Levin graduated valedictorian of her small-town high school.
Relatives, who had gathered in Boston over the weekend to celebrate their beloved aunt on her 90th birthday, took refuge in a hotel after the shooting.
"Everyone came down for a happy occasion," Levin's cousin, Jonathan Schwab, 26, told the Boston Globe. "It turned out to be a sad one."
Police said they are investigating whether the appearance shortly after Levin of an 18-year-old suspected gang member at the same emergency room suffering from a gunshot wound may have been connected to the shooting.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino vowed to end after-hours parties in response to Levin's death. "It's crazy. It's nuts," he told the Boston Globe. "We know all those parties bring bad events in our city. They always end up in some kind of violence."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)