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Friends of Allison Rice, senior at Louisiana State University Found dead in her car in downtown Baton Rouge Friday morning, the 21-year-old remembered as a happy, loving and kind young woman.
“Everyone’s had just enough. Everyone. I had a boyfriend and I don’t see her very often…and she messaged me and said, ‘Was that your niece?’ and I said, ‘Yeah,’ and she wrote back and said, ‘I feel like she’s family now. I feel like she’s everyone’s daughter now.’ Everyone’s daughter. Everyone’s niece. Everyone’s sister,” Rice’s aunt, Susie Rice Granier, told TNZT News Digital.
Baton Rouge police officers found Rice fatally shot in her bullet-ridden car near the Government Street rail line early Friday, Baton Rouge police confirmed to WAFB-TV. Investigators told the outlet that she may have been waiting for a train when the shooting happened.
Police told TNZT News Digital on Saturday afternoon that it had no additional updates on the case.
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Granier said friends, strangers and even politicians have reached out to support her family.
“We miss her. She was always smiling and happy. I imagine her walking into her father’s house and saying, ‘Hey everyone!’ and hugged and kissed everyone, smiling. She was just a bubbly person. She was a cheerleader with awards for school spirit and stuff. Never met a stranger,” Granier said.
Growing up in a suburban area outside Baton Rouge, Rice studied marketing at LSU and had just turned 21.
“She just wanted to be 21. She was supposed to be graduating in May. This was the beginning of the rest of her life,” Rice’s aunt said, adding that the area where her niece worked was booming, but “as in any city you have to go through certain areas that are not so nice, and unfortunately that was on the way home.”
Investigators believe Rice was with friends Friday night before being shot.
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She was stopped at an intersection while waiting for a train and may have tried to “turn around or get away” when she was shot, Granier said.
“The fear is that they will never find the person who did this,” she said.
Rice’s friends remembered her on social media as a “beautiful soul” and a “ray of sunshine.”
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“How could that girl be gone? I really don’t understand. Allie deserved so much more than this world…and instead she got the bad, senseless and disgusting actions of a sick human being,” wrote Kaylin Mason in a Friday Facebook message, along with several old photos of Rice. “…I send my heart and prayers to her friends, family and everyone who feels the impact of this loss. I am sure the list of people heartbroken by this loss is endless.”
Another friend, Bella Taylor, said in a Facebook post that Rice was “a beautiful person” and “one of the nicest people” she had ever met.
“[S]he never failed to make me laugh or laugh when I was feeling down. She always made me feel included and worthy. She will be so incredibly missed by many,” Taylor wrote. “Please be safe, especially when traveling alone, on empty streets or even late at night.”
Granier issued a similar warning: “[Friends] have to stay together. Provide a buddy system. There’s just too much going on, even at LSU and Tigerland and Baton Rouge. Everywhere. Just try not to be alone. Try not to be a target for anyone. Watch each other. Take care of each other. Be that friend. Be careful. It’s not a great world right now.”
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LSU released a statement Friday saying the university is “sad to learn that senior Allison Rice was murdered overnight.”
“Her family and friends are in our thoughts and we encourage anyone with more information about this crime to contact the Baton Rouge Police Department,” the statement said. “All her friends and classmates who want to talk to someone about this or need help coping with this loss can contact the GGZ at the Student Health Center (225-578-8774).”
TNZT News’ Elizabeth Prichett contributed to this report.