'She was my buddy': Mom mourns daughter, 20, victim of shooting

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — Late Sunday night, Diane Arnold knew something was wrong.

Her daughter, KaBria, got off work at the nearby Meijer at 11:30 p.m., and she should've been home well before midnight. 

But at about 11:40 p.m., the 20-year-old Detroit woman was found dead on Detroit's west side. She had been shot multiple times.

More:Police: Woman, 20, found slain on west side street

KaBria Arnold was 20

"She didn't call" after getting off work, Arnold, 60, said.  "We have a check-in system, and were always where we were supposed to be. In my planner, we have five lines in each box. Each child has a line, and everything they did was in there."

Those suspicions were confirmed when Arnold and her husband, KaBria's father Kirk, 61, went out looking.

They found the truck behind police tape. KaBria, who had driven the truck to work, had been shot and killed.

Police spokeswoman Janae Gordon said police are “still investigating” the shooting, and declined to discuss details of the crime scene.

Arnold describes KaBria, the youngest of her four daughters and a former scholarship softball player, as "happy, funny, giving, athletic, caring."

Her athletic journey took her from Detroit Renaissance High School to Morgan State in Baltimore, down to Texas, and to the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she enrolled for the fall 2018 semester and played softball, wearing number 67.

She had wanted to wear father Kirk's 75 from his football-playing days, and had worn it at Morgan State.

She and her sisters were all softball players. Three of the girls, including KaBria, were pitchers, while one played catcher, Arnold said. All four were "black belts," trained in self-defense, she said. 

"I wanted to feel good that as they went to college and left the state that they would be safe," Arnold said. 

The shooting scene, at Pilgrim and Bentler, is less than a mile south of the Meijer she worked at, on Grand River near McNichols, and about two miles north and west of the family home.

KaBria had moved back in with her parents when she returned home to Detroit. 

On Wednesday, when The News spoke with Arnold, the family was headed to the Wayne County morgue. In the days since the fatal shooting, the family hasn't been given possession of her body or gotten the truck back, she said.

Days into the police investigation, Arnold said she's found information from the police tough to come by, but has her theories about what happened that night.

"I'm just going to stand aside and let the police do their job," she said. "I'm hoping (the shooter) either lets themselves get caught, or does the right thing and (turns himself in)."

KaBria, her mother says, was strong, and would have put up a fight if there had been any opportunity to do so. If there was a scuffle prior to the shooting, she believes the shooter would have suffered some damage.

Arnold herself is the youngest of six daughters, who had a special bond with the youngest of her four daughters. 

"People say we're spoiled," Arnold said. "But we just sit back and watch everybody, and what they do. We're not spoiled, we're smart."

Before her daughter's funeral arrangements were even set, before the family had even seen her body, Arnold lamented living the rest of her years without the smile that drew everyone in, the daughter who was a sponge for her many life lessons.

"She was my buddy," Arnold said. "She was supposed to take care of me."

A gofundme page started on behalf of the family has raised nearly $10,000.