An 18-year-old woman who was gravely wounded in a shooting in south Minneapolis last week died Friday night, police said Saturday.
Arionna Buckanaga was shot late Monday when someone fired into the car she and a male companion were in on Cedar Avenue, causing the car to veer off the road and slam into a tree near 39th Street.
The male companion, the suspected target of the attack, wasn’t injured. Buckanaga was taken to HCMC in grave condition. Members of the Police Department’s crisis response team said they were told by Buckanaga’s family that she was on life support and had no brain function in the past days.
Buckanaga lived in south Minneapolis with her mother and four sisters, said cousin Tanya DeLong.
She was raising a son, who is turning 2 later this month.
“He was literally her life,” DeLong said. “It’s so sad to know that he’s going to grow up and not know her.”
Buckanaga was also finishing up her last year of high school at the Minnesota Internship Center in Minneapolis and was about to start a job, DeLong said. The school gave her sisters her diploma on Friday.
“She was always happy, joyful. She loved to joke around,” DeLong said. “She was always there for anybody.”
Her relatives decided to donate her organs, DeLong said.
They are working on scheduling a funeral service, she said, but do not know where it will happen because of the coronavirus pandemic. They organized an online fundraiser to cover funeral costs and a birthday party for her son.
No arrests had been announced as of Saturday. Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said investigators are “making great headway” in the case.
On Wednesday, friends and relatives gathered in Minneapolis to pray, chant and share stories of Buckanaga, often referring to her by her nickname, “Ari.”
Heads nodded when V.J. Smith, of the violence prevention group MAD DADS, called on the men in the crowd to stop the violence and “protect our sisters.”