Lydia Elking was shot dead on 18th February 2023 in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. The crime, partly captured on camera by a doorbell camera, stunned the community in the usually peaceful residential area near Perry Street and Oak Avenue. 

Elking, 15, was seated in the passenger seat of a car alongside a 17-year-old boy, who rushed her to the hospital shortly after the shooting. Unfortunately, doctors couldn’t save Elking, who’d suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. 

Lydia Elking was reportedly shot by two teenagers in a robbery gone wrong

Media reports allege Elking and the 17-year-old boy planned to meet two men on 18th February. The purpose of the meeting remains unclear, but authorities suspect it was a drug deal that went terribly wrong. 

Two teenagers reportedly tried to rob Elking and the 17-year-old boy. One of the teens fired a round into the car, striking Elking in her chest. 

Elking was raised in Missouri by Kerry Keeven and Mark Elking as the youngest of five siblings. Her obituary on reads:

“Despite being the baby of the family, Lydia constantly surprised us with her fierce independence and eagerness to see what the world had to offer. Her smile lit up every room, and her heart carried a fire big enough to warm us all.”

Elking’s sister, Dani, described her as a ‘perfect, precious daughter and sister’. “She was also a kind and loving friend to many,” Dani continued. “She touched so many lives with her radiant energy and beautiful smile.”

Elking was an important member of the Liberty High girl’s varsity soccer team. “She is the sweetest kid ever,” Heidi Kleekamp, the coach, told The Daily Mail. “She is a super hard worker, I think people definitely described her as having a bubbly personality, very outgoing, had a smile that lit up the room.”

Nearly everyone who eulogized Elking remembered her smile. “She was amazing,” Holleigh Vohsen, a close friend of Elking, told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “The way she could just heal you with her smile.”

People have donated over $120K to Lydia Elking’s family to fund her funeral and the bereavement process. “My family feels so much emptiness and pain right now,” Dani added. 

Authorities have arrested and charged two teenagers with murder, assault, and robbery

Authorities have arrested and charged two teenagers aged 16 and 17 with second-degree murder, assault, robbery, and armed criminal action in connection to Elking’s murder. The law prohibits the revelation of the minor’s identities. 

Prosecutor Tim Lomar told KMOV St. Louis that a judge will decide whether to try the suspects as adults. “My sense in this case because of the severity of the offense because of the potential danger to the community this is exactly the type of case where these individuals should be and will likely be certified,” Lomar said. 

A resident near the scene of the shooting described the situation as ‘unsettling’. “It makes you wonder if stuff is gonna continue to happen or is this just a one time thing where it doesn’t – is it gonna keep happening,” she told Fox News. “That’s worrisome. We never usually have this stuff go on.”

Teen shootings may be rare in the neighborhood where Elking was shot, but in Missouri and across America, gun violence is the leading killer of American children and teens.