Friends, Family Mourn After Shooting Death of Indiana High School Student

Hailee Stone can’t believe her best friend is gone just weeks after spending Christmas together.

"She was my best friend, my other half," she said. "We did everything together, absolutely everything."

Alayna Ortiz went to see a movie with her boyfriend Wednesday night— and never made it home. The 18-year-old senior at Portage High School was struck by a bullet while riding in a vehicle in Griffith.

"It just doesn't seem real," another friend, Hope Newcomb, said. "(I) just wish it didn't happen."

Ortiz loved to spend time with friends-- especially at the beach. She dreamed of working as a nurse.

"She was always positive in every situation," friend Gage Blankenship said.

Ortiz came from a large family.

“I have never been more at a loss for words in my entire life," her sister, Angel Ortiz, said. "The pain I’ve been feeling is indescribable."

Ortiz's family set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses, as they and so many others wait for answers.

Griffith police and the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force are investigating.

Contact Us