Teen slain at Tampa party was an FAU student on a ‘positive direction’ in life, family says

Takiya Fullwood, 18, graduated from East Bay High in Gibsonton. Her family is pleading with anyone who has information about her shooting death to contact Tampa police.
Published February 19
Updated February 19

TAMPA — A woman fatally shot at a party early Sunday was a Florida Atlantic University student with deep ties to Tampa.

Takiya Fullwood, 18, was killed at the party on North 15th Street, her parents Timothy and Takeela Fullwood said in a statement released Tuesday.

They're now pleading for help from anyone who can help police find her killer.

"Her life was cut abruptly and violently, and our family and community are devastated," the Fullwoods said. "We are seeking justice and ask that anyone with any information about the incident to please contact Tampa Police Department."

According to police, a large group of people had gathered for the party on 15th Street near 32nd Avenue when some sort of dispute broke out about 1:30 a.m. and shots were fired. An 18-year-old woman was struck and pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said.

The Tampa Police Department has not released Fullwood's name, citing a state constitutional amendment known as Marsy's Law that took effect in January. The victims rights measure includes language that restricts the disclosure of victim information.

Detectives were still investigating the shooting Tuesday.

"We’re still seeking information that will help sort out exactly what happened," police spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

Fullwood was studying biology at FAU in Boca Raton and was set to graduate this spring with plans to attend dental school, her family statement said.

"She was outgoing, fun, intelligent and loved by her community," her parents said. "She loved her family, her church family, and was a great friend to many."

Timothy and Takeela Fullwood said they learned of their daughter's death from "a tragic call that no parent would ever want to receive," their statement says.

The Tampa couple was not ready to speak to reporters, Darrick Fullwood, Timothy's brother, told the Tampa Bay Times.

One of seven children, Takiya Fullwood attended Tampa Bay Tech High School and graduated from East Bay High in Gibsonton as a dual enrollment student who had already made progress toward her bachelor's degree, Darrick Fullwood said. She attended Pentecostal Church of God in South Tampa.

"She was not only headed in a positive direction, she was living a positive life," Darrick Fullwood said. "She had a bright future, making great grades, staying away from drugs and being a leader to her peers."

Anyone with information on the shooting can call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay by calling (800) 873-8477 or online at crimestopperstb.com.

Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.