One of the nation's top girls high school basketball prospects was gunned down inside her apartment building in what her friends and family say was a case of mistaken identity.
According to published reports, 18-year-old Tayshana Murphy, nicknamed Chicken, was shot and killed around 4:10 a.m. Sunday morning in the Grant Harlem housing projects.
According to the NY Daily News, Murphy, wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, left a party at 4 a.m. with a group of friends from her housing project. She was confronted by a gunman and chased through an alley.
According to some who were at the party, Murphy was mistaken by her assailant for a boy who was wearing the same sweatshirt. She pleaded her innocence to the gunman.
"She was pleading for her life," Teka Taylor, one of Murphy's close friends, told the Daily News. "She was saying, 'No, please, I don't have nothing to do with it.'"
Hours after Tayshana was pronounced dead, her mother Stephanie Holston spoke to the NY Daily News about her daughter's dreams to move her out of the ghetto.
"She said, 'Mom, I'm going to get you out of the projects,' " said Holston who was still wearing a t-shirt stained with her daughter's blood. "She loved basketball, she lived and breathed basketball."
Murphy, who was rated the class of 2012's No. 16 point guard by ESPN.com's HoopGurlz recruiting site, was cited as one of the top girl's basketball prospects in the city by the Daily News. She had drawn interest from several colleges, her family said.
Tayshana's killer is still at large.
Thanks to loyal reader Leah S. for the tip.