A grieving Minneapolis father said his daughter’s life must not have been as important as that of the person who shot her outside a Buckhead bar in July — simply because no one will turn that person in.
Peter Hayden, father of Taylor Hayden, said his 25-year-old daughter was killed by crossfire in a probable drug deal gone bad outside The Anchor Down Grille & Lounge.
Atlanta homicide investigators agree that Taylor Hayden was not the intended target when she was fatally shot about 5 a.m. July 23, Lt. Charles Hampton said during a news conference Wednesday.
Anchor Down Grille owners and NFL veterans Uche Nwaneri and Edawn Coughman said they were “heartbroken” by the death and started a fundraiser.
Police are asking for help from those who were in the parking lot close enough to see or hear something during the shooting.
“They were running, so they saw exactly what happened,” Hampton said. “We think that more people know what happened.”
Hampton said people in an Audi were fighting with people in a white Cadillac Escalade when gunfire erupted. Shell casings fell to the ground as witnesses ran to hide behind parked cars.
Hayden said his daughter was a properly raised lady, educated and ready to begin a career.
A management trainee with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hayden graduated in 2014 with a degree in marketing communications from Prairie View A&M University in Texas.
Her father’s voice beamed when talking about Taylor and her brother, Minnesota state Sen. Jeff Hayden.
“She graduated from college and came to the great city of Atlanta to just see the culture of Atlanta, and she never left,” Peter Hayden said.
His daughter was living in Houston at the time of her death, and had gone to Georgia with friends to celebrate a birthday.
“It was a girls’ weekend,” Peter Hayden said. “They picked Atlanta because it’s a mecca.”
He hopes someone will value her life and come forward without fear of being thought a “snitch.”
“That mentality is more important than a young lady who has affected hundreds of people.”
The young woman had 1,500 people at her funeral and now Hayden simply wants someone who saw something to say something.
“She was a young lady who had the opportunity to live in a way that others would be proud,” Peter Hayden said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, text information to 274637 or visit crimestoppersatlanta.org. Tipsters can also remain anonymous, and be eligible for a $5,000 reward.
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