INDIANAPOLIS — She went to sleep while waiting for her sister and boyfriend. She never woke up.
Sixteen-year-old Karla Vasquez was asleep when she was shot and killed by a 17-year-old boy at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis last November.
Vasquez was with her sister, Katherine Maldonado. They were celebrating Maldonado’s 21st birthday.
Investigators believe the 17-year-old may have shot Vasquez accidentally. The boy ran from the hotel, and later told police he’d picked up the gun while at a party, and it went off.
The 17-year-old boy is currently being accused of reckless homicide. Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears says even if he’s tried as an adult, he could get up to 6 years in prison.
That’s a punishment that Chinchilla and Maldonado both feel isn’t enough to justify the cost of their sister’s life.
“I wish he could have gotten 10 to 20 years minimum,” Chinchilla tells WISH-TV.
Maldonado tells WISH-TV, “It’s a 16-year-old girl, really pretty, who’s gone now versus a 17-year-old boy who looks like a thug and they still didn’t take that into consideration of a grieving family.”
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office says the 17-year-old will spend time in a juvenile prison until his 21st birthday. The judge will order a report followed by a hearing within the next 12 months to decided what to do next. The boy’s name is still unknown.
Vasquez’s family now spends time remembering and honoring their sister. Pictures and drawings of Karla Vasquez serve as a reminder of the person she was, and the person she wanted to be. Vasquez’s dream was to own her own salon. But her brother says she will now watch over the family.
Chinchilla explains to WISH-TV, “I could vividly see the sun coming through the window in my mom’s room and her telling me, next to me, like I hope I get remembered as a butterfly flying around cause I’m going to be in that butterfly. I’m going to be the butterfly looking at you guys.”
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