‘You know it was the wrong person’: Family of innocent teen shot, killed plead for answers from police and community

"We go to church, we go to school, we go to work. That’s been our lives," aunt Madyna Rancifer told ABC6 News. "We’re not involved in anything that could suggest that there’s a possibility that any of us would be victim of gun violence."

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE)- The family of 19-year-old Tatyana Francois is begging for answers after her murder has remained unsolved.

Francois was shot in the head while simply sitting in a car on Japonica Street this past May in Pawtucket. She was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Police have named her the victim of a random act of violence.

Francois cousin, Stessy Paulemon, said when she heard what happened, she couldn’t register it’s severity.

Paulemon told ABC6 she originally thought the shooting was survivable, and her and Francois would tell the story later on.

“Until she told me no brain activity. I remember searching it up the definition of no brain activity.”

Paulemon described her cousin as ‘the it girl’, with her hair and makeup always done. She told ABC6 there was no one who could say anything negative about her cousin.

Her family called Francois a leader in her church and community. They said she was a proud scholar, graduating high school amid a global pandemic. Her impact touched many, who have continued to show the family support since Francois’ death.

Her aunt said each time they go to her gravesite, there are new flowers placed there by friends, and other people her niece had an impact on.

“We go to church, we go to school, we go to work. That’s been our lives,” aunt Madyna Rancifer told ABC6 News. “We’re not involved in anything that could suggest that there’s a possibility that any of us would be victim of gun violence.”

Pawtucket police are still searching for Francois killer, but her family says they haven’t been able to reach investigators for any updates in weeks.

“We’re calling and we’re just not getting a response.”

According to Pawtucket Police, “The case remains open and ongoing.”

The family now struggles coming to terms with Tatyana’s death with so many unanswered questions.

“Be careful who you talk to, be careful who you meet on social media, who you think are your friends. You don’t know their enemies,” Paulemon begged.

Francois’ family said the family didn’t have any connections to Pawtucket, and they didn’t know the person Tatyana was meeting with.

“From what we’ve been told, he was the target.  She just happened to be in front of the house,” her aunt said she was simply caught in the crossfire.

“Tati was young. She had her whole future ahead of her and that was stolen. And, that happens to people all the time. Which is why this makes it so heartbreaking,” cousin Angelia Rancifer told ABC6.

The family is now calling on the shooter and anyone who may have answers, to come forward.

“You know it was the wrong person,” exclaimed Paulemon.

“It’s completely unfair to have someone go on and have Thanksgiving dinner and have Christmas and go about your life when we don’t get to do that,” said an emotional Madyna Rancifer.

Francois would have turned 20 next week.

“We don’t get to celebrate that.”

The family told ABC6 they plan on starting a foundation in Tatyana’s name, to help others while continuing to live through her.

Categories: News, Pawtucket, Regional News, Rhode Island