After leaving a house party on Sunday morning, an Arizona high school cheerleader was shot and died.
According to KPNX-TV, authorities went to a gunshot in Tolleson, a town 13 miles outside of Phoenix, and discovered 17-year-old Desiree Rivas dead at the site.
Rivas was a valued student and active part of the school’s spirit line at Cesar Chavez High School in adjacent Laveen Village.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I post about the tragic loss of our amazing friend, athlete, and student Desiree. Our hearts are broken into a million pieces.” the Cesar Chavez High School Spirit line said in a statement on Instagram. “May Dessy rest in peace and be surrounded by love and light. We love you, Desiree.”
According to police, the culprit remains unidentified while they investigate what caused the incident.
Neighbors said they heard the gunshot and rushed to rescue Rivas.
“I was in the bed and I heard these gunshots, and they were loud. It seems like they were right in my yard. They were so loud,” April Stokes told FOX10. “I was scared to get up because I didn’t know where they were coming from, since they sounded so close.”
“She did have friends that did stay behind and assist her, and I was there with her,” one neighbor told CBS 5 after seeing Rivas. “We couldn’t sleep at all last night. I couldn’t sleep at all. I kept thinking about the mother and what she was going through,” she said.
School officials confirmed the death of Rivas in a statement sent to families earlier this week.
“Dear Cesar Chavez Families, It is with deep sadness that we share the tragic news about the passing of Desiree Rivas,” said Principal Robert Grant. “Desiree was a beloved member of our student body and an active member of our spirit line. She will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved her.”
“Desiree passed away after being the victim of a senseless act of violence this past weekend. She loved her peers and was a compassionate and caring member of our student community. At this time, we share our love, support, and sympathy with Desiree’s family and friends.”
A vigil was held for Rivas as more than 50 friends, family and classmates gathered to mourn on Monday.
“She touched so many people. I mean, you never know how relationships are at school. They come home, and they don’t talk about it because they’re doing homework and stuff like that,” her father Danny Rivas said at the vigil according to FOX10. “This brought my spirits up a little bit. I have to make it through this week to make sure that everything goes well for her because I want to send her off properly.”