High school student killed in Griffith, Ind., shooting

GRIFFITH, Ind. (WLS) -- An 18-year-old woman was shot and killed Wednesday night in Griffith, Indiana, police said.

The victim was identified as Alayna Ortiz, a student at Portage High School in northwest Indiana.

Police have identified a suspect and working to bring them into custody. The Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force is assisting in the investigation.

"We are taking some positive, very aggressive steps to actually bring the person in, so it would probably be in their best interest to come to us first," said Griffith Police Department Detective Commander Keith Martin.

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An 18-year-old woman was killed in a shooting in Griffith, Ind.

Ortiz was killed at about 9 p.m. at the Park West apartment complex in the 1800-block of North Arbogast Street.

Griffith police said an officer heard what sounded like a car crash at about 9 p.m. and saw speeding away.

The vehicle turned onto Ridge Road and then into the parking lot of Mansard Plaza, where police officers were parked. The vehicle drove up to the police officers and told them that a woman in the car has been shot.

An ambulance was called to the scene and Ortiz was transported to Northlake Methodist Hospital, where she died.

The Ortiz family was too distraught to speak on camera.

The Portage school district released a statement saying, "Today, we are mourning the passing of one of our Portage High School students. A crisis team to include guidance counselors and school advisers will be available for our students who need to express their grief during this difficult loss. Grief can be expressed in many different ways, and you can expect a variety of emotions and behaviors from your child. One of the most important actions you can take is responding to your child's feelings and providing reassurance as he or she brings up fears and concerns. If you feel your child needs further assistance or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Portage High School Guidance Department at (219)764-6040. We extend our deepest sympathies to this student's family and friends, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts."

Police are investigating the shooting and anyone with information can contact Griffith Police at 219-924-7503 ext 252 or the Griffith Police Anonymous Tip Hotline at 219-922-3085.
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