‘I still don’t think it’s real’: Family of murdered Raytown 17-year-old searching for answers

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Raytown police have now identified the young woman killed in a park late Saturday night. Rayauna Hill, 17, was found shot around midnight at Sarah Coleman Livengood Park.

"I still don't think it's real. I feel like I'm going to wake up tomorrow and she's going to be there," said Chester Hill, Rayauna's grandfather.

Chester said he just talked to his 17-year-old granddaughter Rayauna on Saturday afternoon. She wanted to borrow money for a night out with friends.

"I said, 'Well, come by the house.' You know, and she never came by. And that's the last time I heard her voice," he said.

Chester said Rayauna and a group of friends ended up at Sarah Colman-Livengood Park on Lane Street in Raytown.

He's been told there was some kind of argument that Rayauna wasn't directly involved in, and a hail of gunfire erupted. Rayauna was hit and collapsed.

Her friends tried to help, but couldn't save her. The teen later died at an area hospital.

"She was resilient. She loved people. That smile I will just miss, and her voice," her grandfather said.

Chester said Rayauna had been a track athlete for years, most recently at Raytown South High School. She had dreams of launching a fashion business one day.

He's frustrated those dreams won't be realized, like so many other young people around Kansas City who have been lost to violence.

"It's something that has to stop. The adults have to get involved," Chester said.

He believes young people are crying out for help, and it's going to take more than the efforts of a few small groups to make changes and provide resources to help save lives.

"We can rally around a team with 80-90,000 people. Why can't we have 80-90,000 down here at City Hall, saying, 'Hey. This needs to be fixed.' Until we do that and expect more than one or two persons to solve this, it ain't going to happen. We need everybody," he said.

Police are still searching for suspects in Rayauna Hill's murder. At least two people were spotted running from the scene after the shooting Saturday.

"If you know something, let somebody know. If not, it's going to continue. And then you'll have another senseless homicide," Chester said.

Rayauna Hill's funeral is tentatively planned for Saturday at Mount Pleasant Church.

If you have any information about the shooting, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

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