Teen who overcame crippling disease shot dead sitting in car

Deputies arrested Devon Lee Freeman on Wed. night
Posted at 6:27 PM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-10 04:45:16-05

UPDATE | Devon Lee Freeman was arrested late Wednesday, November 9 in Sarasota and charged with murder. Freeman will make his first appearance on Thursday at 1 p.m.

READ MORE | Manatee County deputies arrest suspect who reportedly shot, killed teen sitting in car in Bradenton

ORIGINAL STORY | Manatee County detectives are searching for the gunman who killed a teenager around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Someone shot 18-year-old Moriah Goode as she sat in a car in the 3300 block of 4th Street E. in Bradenton.

To understand the significance of this teen's death, you would have to know the pain she endured over the past four years.

"She just wanted to die, with dignity," said Moriah's mother, Jan Goode.

Moriah had Lupus since she was 14. The disease sidelined the standout basketball player, putting her in a wheelchair.

It took a couple of years, but her family raised $30,000 for stem cell treatment. By all accounts, the treatments were a success and allowed the teen to enjoy life again.

“The community raised the money for her, saved her life," said Goode.

Family members tell ABC Action News that Moriah lived a life focused on family. The Goode's adopted Moriah after her biological mother traveled to the United States on a raft from Haiti.

The years flew by, and family pictures on a birthday collage illustrate the love shared between mother and daughter. Moriah created the collage for Jan's birthday, and presented her mother with the gift on Friday.

“She was my baby girl," said Jan Goode. "We had done everything together.”

Two days later, someone shot and killed Moriah. She was three years in remission from Lupus.

“We can save her life and give her a life and then someone would take it away with a gun because they were angry at somebody else," said Jan Goode.

Detectives talked to the man who was in the car with Moriah to see if he knows who shot into the vehicle. No arrest has been made in the case.

The family is left wondering why Moriah had to struggle for years with a crippling disease, only for her life to be taken away in an instant.

“That's my baby you killed," said Jan Goode. "I’m praying for your soul but I’m praying that you turn yourself in.”

The Goode's have set up a memorial fund to help pay for Moriah's funeral expenses.