MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Shock and sadness still weigh heavy on the heart of Modesto mother Christina Hughes hours after she got the call that her 16-year-old daughter was shot on a party bus while celebrating her friend’s 21st birthday in Oakland.
“She was my best friend. She did everything with me,” Hughes said. “Zoey was the sweetest, had the best heart, her smile. When she walked into a room, you fell in love with Zoey.”
Zoey and her friend 19-year-old Alayasia Thurston of Stockton both died after police say a pair of shooters fired dozens of bullets into the bus they were riding in.
“When they called to tell me it was over, it’s just not OK. She was 16,” said her uncle, Brandon Augustine.
The love for Zoey was on full display at a candlelight vigil honoring her young life Tuesday night.
Family and friends released balloons with a promise to always keep her spirit alive.
“That smile, that heart, that’s part of our family,” Augustine said. “And they took that from us. And there’s no reason for it. They didn’t even know her.”
As police continue their search for the shooters, her mother is pleading with witnesses to make right of this wrong by bringing justice to Zoey.
“Nobody seen anything. Nobody saw any cars? Nobody called? Nobody said this van has been shot at a hundred times. Nobody? You had to see something,” Hughes said.
The Oakland Police Department is offering a $40,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.