Sadeya Hall reeled from the tragic accident that killed her younger brother about four years ago, but remained a “vibrant” and well-liked 16-year-old despite the grief, said those who knew her.
About 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, someone fired gunshots into a home in the 500 block of Case Avenue E. in St. Paul, killing Hall and injuring two other teenagers. St. Paul police have released few details about what happened that night, but Hall’s friends said they don’t believe she was the intended mark.
“She was an exceptional young lady — very vibrant and goofy,” said Selena Wade. “She was definitely not the target, and it truly breaks my heart that her time was cut short.”
A statement released from the Combs family on behalf of Hall’s mother, April Combs, said: “Sadeya was fun, outgoing, free-spirited, loved volleyball. She loved the mess out of her little cousin Natavia. She used to always play in the pots and pan cabinets as a baby making lots of noise. She had a lot of friends and loved getting together with her family.
“Her mother tried as much as she can to raise a young woman and wish she had more time. April Combs lost both her children unexpectedly. So we just want to make sure Ms. Combs has the support she needs to be able to live with this.”
Hall grew up in St. Paul and played volleyball at Roseville Area Middle School and North Branch Area Middle School, the family statement said.
Hall was visiting a friend’s home Wednesday when someone came by looking for someone else and fired into the house, said Sharrell Villebrun, who lived upstairs from Hall’s family for several years in St. Paul.
Police said that an 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl suffered noncritical injuries in Wednesday’s attack. Authorities declined to confirm or deny whether they were injured by gunfire, but according to the website Police Clips, a woman called police to report that her daughter was shot in the back and a male was shot in the leg. She also said shots came into the house through a window and had been fired from the alley.
Sgt. Mike Ernster, a police spokesman, said the shooting was not random.
“She was a good girl,” Villebrun said of Hall. “She was loving and gentle.”
According to Villebrun: Hall, her younger brother, Kasahn, and their parents moved out of St. Paul about four years ago and into a smaller town in southern Minnesota. A large TV fell on Kasahn while he was attempting to use it, killing him in the family’s new home.
The boy’s tragic death, when he was 8 and Hall was about 12, hit the family hard, Villebrun said. They moved back to the metro area.
“From there on, life was just different,” Villebrun said. Hall “looked after her brother like nobody’s business. She may have faltered slightly dealing with grief and being in the inner city, but she wasn’t a bad girl.”
Wade said Hall’s mother was active in her daughter’s life. “Her mom has always been a sweet lady — very involved with her daughter,” Wade said. “I’m really shocked and saddened by this.”
Villebrun and Wade urged local youth to shun violence.
“I’ve noticed increasing violence among the young kids,” Villebrun said, “and I’d just like to urge them to stop and think a minute and think before you act and realize that you can take a life and affect so many people for so long, and to realize that you’re young and you have so much ahead of you and not to give up hope and not to stop trying and not to think that violence … and the gang lifestyle is all there is.”
A page for funeral expenses has been set up at gofundme.com/burial-for-sadeya-hall.
Anyone with information is asked to call St. Paul police at 651-266-5650.