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. 


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

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