Kentucky native killed in Mississippi post-prom shooting

Kentucky native killed in Mississippi post-prom shooting
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Mississippi mass shooting at a post-prom party that left two dead and four wounded has Kentucky ties.

Haeleigh Stamper, born in Lexington and raised in Winchester, attended the party. She died from gunshot wounds.

Now, Rhonda Lawson, Stamper’s cousin in Mississippi, is asking central Kentucky to show love and support to the family.

“I’m angry, I’m sad, just a whole lot of different emotions,” said Lawson.

This past weekend Stamper’s life was cut short by a gunman at a post-prom party in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, located about an hour east of New Orleans. Stamper was 16.

18-year-old De’Arreis Smith also died at the scene. Four other teens were wounded and taken to the hospital.

“Haeleigh was literally at the very wrong spot at the very wrong time,” said Lawson. “She wasn’t even a target. She was 100% a victim.”

Lawson says her cousin was shot three times. Then friends rushed her on a five-minute drive to the hospital before police made it to the scene.

“She was even telling them I love you guys on the way to the hospital, and that’s the kind of person she truly was,” said Lawson.

Lawson describes the 16-year-old as a defender, a person who stood up to bullies and racism in her school.

“She just wanted to be the defender of the underdog,” said Lawson. “She was that light.”

A balloon release, bracelets, t-shirts and even a drink have been created in her honor.

Now the family with Bluegrass roots is asking their old Kentucky home for love and support.

“I would just love to see our good old Kentucky folks show up and show out for such a true loss for our family as well,” said Lawson.

Stamper’s remains will be brought back to Kentucky for burial.

The family is asking for financial assistance. Click here to donate to their GoFundMe.

The suspected shooter is in jail.