The woman killed on Saturday night's mass shooting at a New Jersey house party has been identified as a 25-year-old "hardworking" healthcare worker who came to the United States from Jamaica, according to her grieving family and social media. Asia Hester was shot dead along with another man at a birthday BBQ in Fairfield Township on Saturday night where hundreds of people were gathered.
The other victim has been identified as 30-year-old Kevin Elliott. According to the New York Post, other guests present at the party told that the violence may have stemmed from a long-simmering local turf war and Hester was an unfortunate victim of the gang war.
Hester stayed less than a mile from the shooting scene. Following the shooting, mourners reached her home immediately to learn that she had succumbed to her injuries at the scene. Hester's heartbroken sister Crystal said: "I talked to her yesterday before she went [to the party]. She didn't deserve this."
A male relative added: "She was a hardworking person. She was a good person, very respectable. It's just a tragic situation. Something's got to be done."
According to her family and Facebook profile page, Hester was a graduate from Rowan College in south Jersey and worked in healthcare. Her employer is listed as Jefferson Health. The "beautiful" woman was actually from Kingston, Jamaica, according to one of her friends.
One of her friends mourning her death wrote: "Asia, I've watched you grow up and become a beautiful young woman inside and out! I'm so sorry this crazy person took your life away. May he get what is coming to him."
Another, who worked with Hester, said: "Asia Hester was not only my coworker, but she was my friend.
"My heart feels heavy to know someone with so much light got her life taken away. Our work family won't be the same- our unit will not be the same without you, Asia. I hope heaven treats you well and you never lose your AirPods because we had a crazy tendency of doing that. Sending the family so much love."
Gone too Soon
According to the police, the shooting happened just suddenly, with 14 people hit with gunshots. Two of them including Hester died. The exact number of partygoers wounded is not yet known, but investigators said 12 are being treated for injuries and one is in a critical condition.
According to CNN, six victims were rushed to Cooper University Hospital in Camden while other victims were sent to other area hospitals. Officers were called to a home on E. Commerce Street in Fairfield Township, Cumberland County, in the state.
New Jersey Police said on Facebook that state cops are investigating the shooting in Cumberland County, where 14 were shot, with two "confirmed deaths".
One of Hester's friends said that she was not a party person and it is quite surprising why and how she went there. It is also not known if Hester knew the shooter.
The Facebook post from New Jersey Police read: "No arrests have been made, and the motive and incident remain under investigation."
The gunfire was first heard by the reverend of Trinity AME Church, across the street, who informed the police. The party was '90s themed and was attended mostly by young people, say community leaders.
According to CBS, police attention was focused on an SUV parked at a cemetery across the street from the house. The vehicle has since been towed from the scene but it's not clear if it had any involvement in the shooting.
New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy described it as a "horrific mass shooting at a large house party that attracted hundreds of party-goers".