17-year-old fatally shot during Detroit party was 'full of life,' family says

Taylor Gladney had been at a big Detroit block party for less than an hour before shots were fired, striking her. 

The 17-year-old was injured by the gunfire on May 18. After fighting for her life for days, Taylor died on May 22.

"Oh my god, Taylor was just full of life. She never was angry with nobody. She was just Taylor," said Twyla Moss, the victim's aunt.

The incident took place on Manning Street near Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. The party was open to several local high schools, according to the teen's family.

Her mother, Lacretia McCullough, said she had just switched cars with Taylor before heading to work.

"I get a call at 7:52 (p.m.) that my baby had been shot," McCullough said. "So she wasn’t even at this party long to really even get a chance to enjoy herself."

Taylor Gladney (Provided by Twyla Moss)

Details surrounding how the shooting unfolded are still unclear. According to Detroit police, the shooting remains an active and ongoing investigation. 

Taylor's family is hoping someone witnessed something that can help lead to an arrest, and give them some closure as they sort through their own emotions.

"I’m kind of mad at everybody. I’m upset because when I knew where the party was, I wanted to say no, but I didn’t – so sometimes I get angry at myself for allowing her to go, but you can’t keep your kids in the house," McCullough said. "I allow her to go and something like this happens… she was trying to get out of there and ended up not being one of the lucky ones to have a minor injury."

Taylor was placed on life support for a few days after the shooting before her family made the decision to let her go. They said they take comfort in knowing that she touched countless lives in her short 17 years on earth.

The teen loved cheering and getting her hair done, according to her family.

"She signified a lot of things about her through her appearance," Moss said. "She always had her hair colored, so she was always just bright and full of life."

Taylor Gladney (Provided by Twyla Moss)

Scores of Taylor’s friends turned out for a vigil and balloon release. The family says her funeral was unforgettable – with over 800 people in attendance, celebrating her young life. Now, they are desperate to know who fired the shot that killed Taylor.

"The guys that did this, ain’t nothing I can say. I pray that someone catches them before I do," said Taylor's father, Tyrell Gladney. "I know it’s nothing we’re supposed to say but that’s how I feel – angry, upset, hurt."

A memorial fundraiser is being held in honor of Taylor on Wednesday, June 26, from 12-8 p.m., at Launch Family Entertainment in Dearborn. A percentage of the event's revenue will go towards Taylor's medical bills and funeral expenses.