Woman becomes Lexington's 10th homicide victim

Teenage Victim was staying with friend when shooter burst in; resident injured

jkegley@herald-leader.comMay 31, 2011 

Dozens of friends and family members gathered outside the Thoroughbred Way apartment complex where Tommisha Taylor, 19, was shot and killed early Monday.

JOSH KEGLEY | STAFF

Tommisha Taylor and a friend were staying at her mother's apartment early Monday when someone forced their way in and shot them both, friends said.

Taylor, 19, died. Her friend, a man who was not identified by officials, was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening, Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said.

The shooting happened about 5 a.m. Monday at 686 Thoroughbred Way, in apartment 201. Ginn's office was called at 5:22 a.m. by the Lexington Fire Department, he said.

Lexington police originally were called to the scene for a report of "some type of disturbance," Lt. J.J. Lombardi said. "That was all the information we had at the time."

"Right now, we believe she died of multiple gunshot wounds," Ginn said.

The street was packed with neighbors, friends and family of both victims. Most stood in silence, watching police and the coroner going between the apartment and the mobile crime lab parked out front.

Several of Taylor's family members gathered on the front porch of the complex. One woman sat cross-legged on the floor, rocking back and forth, crying into her hands.

Dozens lined up alongside yellow crime-scene tape about 12:20 p.m. when word spread that deputy coroners would be bringing out Taylor's body. The group burst into powerful sobs when her body, draped in a blue cloth, was loaded into a coroner's van.

The apartment where Taylor was staying was a new unit built on the site of the old Bluegrass Aspendale housing complex near William Wells Brown Elementary School.

Friends Yennie Cooper and Tomonica Cooper said Taylor didn't live at the apartment. They identified her friend who was injured as Trey Williams. A Trey Williams was listed in serious condition at UK Chandler Hospital.

Taylor's uncle, Dondonn Lee, said she the apartment belongs to Taylor's mother.

Taylor graduated from Henry Clay High School last year and was studying fashion and design at an art college in Cincinnati. She had just returned home to Lexington for summer vacation, her friends said.

Taylor was a member of a hip-hop dance team called Something Special, Yennie Cooper said. When she wasn't dancing, she was borderline shy, mostly keeping to herself.

"She was a kind girl — very sweet," Cooper said. "She never did nothing to nobody. That's why we can't believe this happened to her."

Nancy Roberts, another friend of Taylor, was visibly frustrated at the loss of another young life. Williams and Taylor knew Brian Edward Carr Jr., 19, who was gunned down on East Main Street on May 2, and others who have been shot and killed during the last several years.

"Another mother's got to bury her child," she said. "I hope and pray I won't have to bury none of my kids before they bury me."

Taylor is the 10th homicide victim this year in Lexington, and the first female.

"This west-end, east-end bulls--- has got to stop," Roberts said, speaking to the gang-mentality of some Lexington teens and young adults.

A motive for the crime was not made public Monday. Lombardi said several people came to police headquarters voluntarily for interviews after the shooting. No arrests had been made as of Monday evening.

There is a security camera on the front of the building, but police did not say whether it produced any usable information.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lexington police at (859) 258-3600.

This story has been corrected to update the location of the killing.

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