Teen suspects arrested in connection with 14-year-old girl’s death; family and friends hold vigil

TACOMA, Wash. — Police said they arrested two 17-year-old boys in connection with a 14-year-old girl’s death in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood on Wednesday.

One boy was taken into custody just before 4 p.m. Thursday and booked for first-degree murder.

A second boy, 17, arranged through legal counsel to turn himself in at Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center around 6:45 p.m. and was also booked for first-degree murder.

The 14-year-old girl, identified by family members as Iyana Ussery, was hit by a bullet when the car she and other juveniles were in near 19th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way took on gunfire.

The girl was driven to the 1900 block of Ainsworth Avenue, where she was found by her mother.

Medics who arrived attempted lifesaving measures, but the girl died at the scene.

“She was hit, they brought the car here, and I opened the car door and my daughter was inside the car dead,” Iyana’s mother said.

On Thursday, family and friends held a vigil for Iyana, as it appears she was in the wrong place at the wrong time when she was struck.

“I just want everybody to remember her name. Her name is Iyana Ussery, my grandbaby,” said Antoinette Ussery.

At 14, family members told KIRO 7 that the beaming teen could always be counted on for comfort and peace.

“If the family was having disputes, she was the person getting everyone together. She was the person like, ‘listen to this side of the story,’” Antoinette Ussery said.

“It just made me so angry that she had to go out like this. They don’t even know her. These people don’t even know her,” Iyana’s mother said.

Now that Iyana is gone, Antoinette said it is time for Tacoma’s violence to end.

“I get ‘sending prayers.’ Sending prayers. Who are we going to send prayers to next? Are we going to send prayers to you next?” Antoinette said to a KIRO 7 reporter.

While a suspect has been taken into custody, family members said Iyana’s lasting legacy is making others happy.

“She’s not about violence. She’s not about disruption or anything. She’s about peace and everyone getting along, and I’m hurt that she’s gone,” said Antoinette Ussery.