NewsLafayette Parish


Family of teen killed Sunday remembers her as the "life of the party"

janyas family.jpg
Posted at 10:53 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 08:05:58-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — A Lafayette family is mourning the death of a sixteen-year-old. Ja’Nya Hebert’s family remembers her as a spunky person, the life of the party, and a phenomenal dancer.

After going through unimaginable pain, Ja’Nya's family is finding comfort in watching her dance videos. Her mother, Keisha Mouton, says the past few days have been tough, but she’s slowly healing.

“I have a big relief off of my shoulders because someone was arrested. I mean, even though someone was arrested, it's still not going to bring my daughter back,” she said.

A sixteen-year-old male was arrested Tuesday. The family says police told them their loved one was not the target of the shooting. According to investigators, Hebert was sitting in a vehicle on Harrington Drive when an unknown suspect began firing a gun in the direction of the vehicle, one round striking Hebert as she sat inside at around 1 a.m. Sunday morning. The suspects fled the area.

Mouton says the moments after she found out her daughter had been shot were devastating.

“I didn’t know where to put myself at that moment, because this is the first time that something like this happens,” she said. “This is my first child I lost.”

Ja’Nya was working to take extra classes at school in order to graduate early and study dance. The family says she was a very talented dancer who took her craft very seriously.

“And I would holler at her from the crowd, ‘Ja’nya smile!’ And she’d crack a big smile and wave at me, and I'd brag about it at work, and I'd bring pictures and show everybody. I was very proud of her,” said her grandmother, Brenda Jones.

There will be a vigil on East Clinton Street in Lafayette Friday, July 16 at 7 p.m. It is encouraged that you wear white and purple if you attend. Those were Ja’Nya's favorite colors.

READ MORE: Lafayette coroner identifies teen girl killed in Sunday morning shooting

UPDATE: 16-year-old in police custody for Lafayette homicide

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