Police say Milan Arriola was not intended target

Police: Milan Arriola not intended target; her mother pens emotional letter

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - At only 20 years old, Milan Arriola should have had a lifetime of hopes and dreams ahead of her. Instead, New Orleans police said she was fatally wounded by while riding in a car in Gentilly Friday evening.

Investigators believe the shooting was the result of an ongoing feud between the shooter and someone else.

Police arrested 20-year-old Will Reed, who is jailed and booked with second-degree murder in Arriola's death.

"I'm sure she wasn't the intended victim, but it's still second-degree murder because he was intending to kill somebody when she got in the way. That happens a lot in New Orleans," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

Arriola’s mother, veteran NOPD Officer Imani Ruffins, penned a heart-wrenching letter on Facebook, entitled "A letter to my daughter's killer:"

I'm sharing this today, because TODAY was a good day. 

I want you to know that in spite of you changing my life forever, I don't hate you. I feel sorry for you. Sorry that you've never experienced the love that Milan experienced, not only from her family and friends, but coworkers, classmates and random strangers. 

An unconditional, heart pounding, take your breath away type of love. I'm certain you haven't experienced this because you had no regard or appreciation for life.

Milan was loved by so many people, she had the brightness smile. Contagious. Like a sneeze. 

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I prayed EVERY DAY. I prayed for "a girl" A humble, happy, healthy girl, in that order. I prayed that she had her dads soft spoken spirit, his humbleness, his smarts. I prayed that she had my eyes, my smile, my silliness. 

You see, how amazing God is? He gave me EXACTLY what I asked for. It's kinda of funny because when I was a few months pregnant I contracted chicken pox, the Dr. told me my unborn child was gonna be retarded, blind and probably deaf and I should probably have an abortion, but I said no. No because I knew God heard my prayers. My faith out weighed everything. 

August 27, 1994 until July 3, 2015 I told Milan Domonique Arriola "I LOVE YOU" sometimes multiple times. For 2o years, EVERYDAY I talked to her whether via text, phone or face to face. 

I thank God for 20 years with my first child, my only daughter, my best friend. No one, not even you Will Reed can take that away from me and everyone who had the pleasure of sharing her life.

So TODAY I'll pray for you, that God has mercy on your soul.

Arriola's father is New Orleans Fire Department Capt. Roy Arriola. He uncle is musician Kermit Ruffins, who says he is still trying to come to terms with the weekend tragedy.

"It's so sad because those kids are 20 years old," Ruffins said. "My family was never intertwined with anything like that, I'll tell you."

The suspect has had prior run-ins with the law.

"It's a horrible tragedy, but he's just another one of the predator's we have out in the street," Raspanti said.

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