MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Almost a year since the death of her daughter, one South Florida mother is begging for justice.
Maria Gray says the young man responsible for her daughter’s death is living comfortably on house arrest, and she says it’s time for him to be locked up.READ MORE: 3 Rushed To Area Hospitals Following Shooting At Aventura Mall
“This man shouldn’t have pulled a gun at my baby. She was only 15. She was only 15 years old when she died,” she said.
Arya Gray’s mother and uncle still can’t believe the Miami Beach High School student is gone, almost a year after she was shot and killed.
Arya was at a friend’s apartment in Miami last May when investigators say the suspect, Thalys Oliveira, recklessly took out a gun.
“It was a group of kids just watching a movie and this individual just pulled out a gun and shot her point blank in her head, shattering her brain. The doctors couldn’t do anything for me,” Maria Gray said.
Witnesses told police Oliveira showed off the gun, then put it away, but took it out again.
And that’s when it discharged, the bullet striking Arya in the head.
Oliveira was 17 at the time, just days shy of his 18th birthday.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Police Lieutenant Faces Rape Charges In Palm Beach County
He was arrested and charged with manslaughter with a deadly weapon, as well as possession of a firearm by a minor and improper exhibition of a firearm.
He’s being tried as an adult.
A judge granted him house arrest as permitted under the law for a bondable offense, but Arya’s loved ones say he should be locked up awaiting trial.
“It’s just crushing me every day. I know I can’t bring my daughter back. But I want justice for her,” Maria Gray told CBS4 News.
“Not tomorrow, but today. We need justice today. Not tomorrow. Not next month,” added Arya’s uncle, Sergio Rastelli.
Maria Gray says she’s been told legal proceedings have been delayed due to COVID.
Online court records show a motion for continuance was filed on the defendant’s behalf.
But for Arya’s mother, every day without her daughter – without justice – is almost too much to bear.
“I think about her every day,” she said. “I wake up. I have nightmares. I loved her so much. And I just want her to know that her mom is going to fight for her.MORE NEWS: COVID In Florida: 3,977 New Cases, 66 Additional Deaths Reported Saturday
Oliveira’s next court hearing is scheduled for late May.