A recent high graduate was shot dead during a confrontation between two cars on a Washington roadway Saturday night.
Jatzivy Sarabia, 18, was struck by a bullet while riding inside one of the cars near Highway 397 in East Kennewick around 11:45 p.m., the Benton County Sherriff’s Office said.
Emergency responders performed life-saving measures at the scene, but the teen died of her injuries, according to the sheriff.
Investigators believe a person from the other car fired into the vehicle Sarabia was a passenger in.
The two vehicles had gotten into “some sort of altercation resulting in shots being fired,” the sheriff’s office said.
“One vehicle stopped in the middle of the road and the other vehicle was seen driving north on SR 397 towards the cable bridge,” the office said in a news release.
At least one shot was fired at that moment, according to dispatch reports cited by the Tri-City Herald.
Investigators are still working to determine what occurred during the altercation between the two cars of people, but don’t believe it was a case of road rage, the sheriff’s office told People.
No arrests have been made.
Sarabia’s mother, Kimberly Sarabia, told local CBS affiliate KEPR that she believes her daughter was with the wrong crowd on the night she was killed.
“I don’t know why they would do that to her,” Kimberly said.
“Watch your babies and know who they’re with and talk to them,” she added. “I talked to her, but you just never know.”
The teenager had graduated from Hanford High School in June and was set to start school in January to become a radiology technician.
“She was really excited about that,” her mother told KEPR. “She was also getting her first credit card. She was just excited about life.”
Sarabia was described on a GoFundMe page as the “big sister” of the house who was always taking care of everyone’s needs.
“Jatzivy was a beautiful person inside and out,” her cousin Jamie Harbert wrote in the fundraising page description.
She said Sarabia loved to do hair, makeup and lashes and considered attending cosmetology school but decided radiology would offer her a better future.
“She loved her friends. She loved music. As a child, she was obsessed with Beyoncé, even wearing out the CD,” Harbert said. “Jatzivy enjoyed playing sports throughout her childhood, volleyball, cheer and played soccer for Hanford High. She worked extremely hard to graduate, she was the pride of her family.”
The teen’s mom said she was well-loved.
“I’m not the only one who lost her,” Kimberly said. “A lot of people loved her, so I don’t grieve alone.”