Niskayuna shooting victim remembered as star athlete

May 28, 2019 07:18 PM

People who knew Ayanna Hunter say she was devoted to her family. 

"She was a big family person. If you were her friend, you were her family," said Coach Antwan Morrison. 

Advertisement – Content Continues Below

The travel basketball coach knew Ayanna from her time with the Albany Lady Stars. He got a call Monday night from her cousin.

"I didn't really believe it, and then minutes after, I got a call from another one of her cousins, he was a coach locally, and then the girls started calling, crying and screaming and saying it was true," he said. 

Police say at about 8:20 Monday night that a series of shots was fired in the parking lot at the Hillcrest Village West apartments in Niskayuna.  They say they found 21-year-old Ayanna Hunter of Schenectady lying in the parking lot, fatally injured. 

One witness said she saw a woman on the ground and a woman holding a gun and people scattering.

Residents say there was a big party at the pavilion on Memorial Day. 

"It was a rapid series of shots and then a pause and then another rapid series of shots and that's when I went to the window to see what was going on," said resident Elizabeth Kennedy. 

Hunter was a NewsChannel 13 All-Star in 2016. She played for the Albany High School Falcons, coached by Decky Lawson. 

"Ayanna Hunter was definitely a floor general," said Coach Lawson. "She was a player that was way above her time. She was definitely a Division One top pro athlete. She could have played at any level. She was just a special kid."

He said Hunter put her teammates first and was a leader. 

"She was definitely that one, so everybody wanted to be her.  All the younger girls in the program want to be her. And so that's why it made such a big impact," he said. 

So far, police have not made any arrests.


Kumi Tucker

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Fundraiser for Josh Woodward

Man arrested in Schenectady homicide investigation

Youth leaders at UN demand bold climate change action

Sheriff: 2 dead, 8 wounded in South Carolina bar shooting

Concerns over City of Troy surveillance cameras being brought up again