MARION, Ind. — Loved ones are mourning the loss of 19-year-old Annalysa McMillan, who was shot and killed while in the driver seat of her car.
McMillan’s death comes five days after she turned 19.
“The last text that she sent to her step-father was that she loved him and, those things are glued to hold tight when everything is trying to blow you apart,” said Eastview Wesleyan Church Lead Pastor Mark Atkinson.
Marion police say McMillan was driving at the intersection of Mason Boulevard and Baldwin Avenue in Marion Tuesday afternoon when she was shot in the back. She later died from her injuries.
Police have preliminarily charged 22-year-old Austin Smith with reckless homicide for her death.
They say Smith was in possession of an assault style riffle and was sitting in the back seat behind McMillan when it went off.
“I do believe there are a lot of things that there’s no way to answer, so we just have to trust in the Lord,” Pastor Atkinson said.
What happened inside McMillan’s vehicle is still under investigation, but her family and friends are dealing with the heartache now.
“She was an encouraging, bubbly young lady who had a bright future and was heading in the right direction,” Pastor Atkinson said.
She grew up attending Eastview Wesleyan Church in Gas City.
Pastor Atkinson says McMillan was destined for a bright future. A few months ago, he wrote a recommendation letter for her.
He says she will be cherished forever.
“If we focus on loving each other and treating each other fairly, then it makes these moments way better,” Pastor Atkinson said.
He says she may be gone but not forgotten.
“Annalysa’s heavenly father picked her out of her car and took her home. She’s woke up at home,” Pastor Atkinson said.
Smith is facing several charges, including criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon.
This is the third homicide this year in Marion and the fifth one for Grant County as a whole.