Mother of teen killed by stray bullet seeks answers on 1-year anniversary of shooting

Indianapolis Area Crime

INDIANAPOLIS — May 3rd marks a sad anniversary for one central Indiana family.

Exactly one year ago, 16-year-old Nya Cope was shot and killed by a stray bullet on Indy’s east side.  Her death remains unsolved.

Nya spent her last day, one year ago, visiting Indianapolis from Marion with her mother and a friend, before someone shot her to death.

That loss that’s been a daily struggle for Nya’s mom.

“Every day I cry. I cry every morning and every night. The biggest thing is I miss Nya,” said Nikki Cope.

With Nya sitting next to her in their car, Nikki remembers hearing gunshots before a bullet tore into the trunk and through a headrest before it hit her daughter.

“I noticed Nya falling over and realized she had been shot, but I don’t like to think about that night, because it was so horrible,” said Nikki.

Nya’s friend in the backseat called 911, but no one could save the 16-year-old’s life.

That night a large group of people driving hundreds of cars had gathered around the intersection of 38th and Arlington and Nikki unexpectedly got caught in the middle of that crowd.

“I was complaining one of them was going to hit us. That’s what I remember saying to Nya and she was like, ‘Stop being afraid mom,'” said Nikki.

It turns out that was one of the last things Nikki and Nya said to each other.

A year later, Nikki is planning to release balloons with friends and family at Nya’s gravesite.

She knows her daughter wasn’t shot on purpose, but she still wants whoever pulled the trigger held accountable.

“There were several cars behind me and someone had to have seen something. I know they did,” said Nikki. “Maybe justice will give me a little peace, but I’ll never stop missing her.”

While they didn’t have any new information to release on a possible suspect, IMPD encourages anyone with information on the case to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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