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Community mourns loss of 18-year-old Wayne State student

Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News

Community members are mourning the loss of a Wayne State University student who was shot early Saturday on Detroit's east side. 

Casey Willis, 18, who was in her first year of college, was a graduate of University Prep Academy High School. The charter school district confirmed Willis' death, commenting on "the responsibility our community has to take care of each other in our darkest days." 

"Casey is a friend, a sister and a daughter. At University Prep Academy High School, Casey was a leader, a role model, and a light," the district wrote in a Facebook post. 

Police said around 1:55 a.m. Saturday in the 18000 block of Cardoni, a Honda Civic Willis and an 18-year-old man were sitting in was hit with multiple shots from a long gun. 

Willis was pronounced dead when medics arrived. No other injuries were reported. The two suspects possibly left in a Chevy Impala, police said.

According to a GoFundMe page set up on behalf of Willis' mother, Willis worked two jobs while studying at Wayne State, including Footlocker and Alternative for Girls, a nonprofit for at-risk and homeless young women. 

The nonprofit said Willis was "beloved and respected" and called her death "a devastating loss to the entire AFG family." 

"We can take inspiration from Casey’s life and hard work. She overcame many odds, graduated from high school and enrolled in college, chose to join AFG’s board and served as a leader and role model to others," said Alternative for Girls CEO Amy Good in a statement. 

Willis was raised by her mother, Carol "Bay" Bush and has five siblings, according to the GoFundMe page. 

Money raised from the GoFundMe will help cover funeral expenses with anything extra going towards the family. In one day, over $14,000 was raised of the $20,000 goal.