Mother of teen killed in Miami apartment demands justice ahead of 1-year anniversary

MIAMI (WSVN) - A grieving mother said she is frustrated with the way authorities have handled a shooting in Miami that claimed the life of her teenage daughter, as the one-year anniversary of her loss approaches.

City of Miami Police said 15-year-old Arya Gray lost her life at an apartment complex in the area of Northeast 10th Avenue and 78th Street, May 12.

Her mother, Maria Gray, said she is left with only memories.

“Everybody loved her so much. She was like the best kid,” she said as she fought back tears.

But Arya’s loved ones are also furious, because the person implicated by police in her death is not behind bars, adding to their pain.

“My daughter is gone. I can’t bring her back, but this kid is still on house arrest,” said Maria.

Initially, police said the shooting was an accident, but a few days later, Thalys Oliveira was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Oliveira, now 18, is confined to his home and charged with manslaughter in Arya’s death.

“This kid is living in a $2.5 million home,” said Maria. “This kid needs to be in jail.”

According to investigators, a group of teens were left alone when one of them brought out a gun.

Police said the firearm would end up in the hands of Oliveira.

“My 20-year-old daughter witnessed everything, saw him shoot my daughter in the head,” said Maria. “There was no hope for her. The doctor says that she died the minute the bullet hit her.”

Maria is speaking publicly for the first time about her loss and disappointment in the progress of the case.

“He murdered my child,” she said.

With the anniversary of her daughter’s death less than three weeks away, Maria wants to know why this case hasn’t moved forward.

“They’re telling me that, because of coronavirus, the court system is very slow, very lacking, and I just feel like it’s not fair,” she said.

Gray’s family is now looking for closure, as well as a prison sentence for the teen who, police said, pulled the trigger.

“All I want is justice at this point,” said Sergio Rastelli, Arya’s uncle. “At this point, this man needs to be out of house arrest, be put in jail.”

“Where’s the justice? Why isn’t he behind bars where he should be?” said Maria.

7News reached out to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to see if there was an update. A spokesperson said there will be no comment on this pending case.

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