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Family of Deshayla Harris mourns after Oceanfront killing; dissatisfied with VBPD investigation

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 09:50:34-04

NORFOLK, Va. — Deshayla Harris’ family is grieving the loss of the girl who grew up quiet but found her voice and became the life of any party.

The 28-year-old made a name for herself on season 17 of the reality show "Bad Girls Club," but family says that’s far from who she was.

“We’re close in age, so that’s like – that was my first best friend. We talked about everything; we did everything,” explained her sister, Tikeera Harris.

Deshayla "Shay" Harris died at the Oceanfront Friday as heavy gunfire rattled the area of Atlantic Avenue at 20th Street. Police believe she was an innocent bystander, killed by a stray bullet nearby in the 1900 block of Pacific Avenue.

Harris was out with friends, celebrating the beginning of a new chapter in life - one she would never begin.

“They was running. They jumped into the bushes, they tapped her; she was unresponsive. That’s when they pulled her off to the street and started yelling, 'Help, help,'” said Tikeera.

Elisheba Harris called her daughter’s phone, hoping the rumors spreading weren’t true, but she says a friend of her daughter’s picked up the phone instead.

“She hesitated, and I was like, 'Can I speak to Deshayla?’ And she was like, ‘You can’t speak to Deshayla.’ And I was like, ‘Why can’t I speak to Deshayla?’ She was like, ‘Because they’re pronouncing her dead as we speak.’"

Elisheba Harris says Virginia Beach Police never met with her and only confirmed her daughter’s death through a FaceTime call at the scene.

“Why am I calling you? Why am I calling the police department looking for my child? Why am I calling hospitals looking for my child?” Elisheba questioned.

Elisheba says she’s making all the calls to police to get updates in the investigation and says she’s received very little answers. She fears the other shootings Friday night are the focus of police.

The Harris family is pleading with the community to come forward so they can move forward.

“It’s gonna be a closure somewhere, and I’m going to keep reaching out until I get something,” said Elisheba.

The family started a GoFundMe to cover funeral expenses.

News 3 reached out to police and is waiting for an update on if any arrests have been made in the shooting death of Deshayla Harris.