College freshman from New Jersey dies from injuries after Nashville shooting

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Thursday, November 9, 2023
Vigil held for NJ teen killed in Nashville shooting
CeFaan Kim has more on a vigil in New Jersey for Jillian Ludwig.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WABC) -- A college freshman from New Jersey has died after she was critically injured in a shooting near her college campus in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jillian Ludwig, 18, was walking on the track in the Edgehill Community Memorial Gardens Park on Tuesday night when she was hit in the head by a stray bullet.

Ludwig, who is from Wall Township, was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center in extremely critical condition. Nashville police announced Thursday that she died overnight.

Police said the gunfire came from public housing across the street and a suspect was taken into custody.

Shaquille Taylor, 29, was charged with aggravated assault and evidence tampering in connection to the shooting. Police say charges against him could be modified.

N.J. Burkett has the latest on a teen from New Jersey who has died after a shooting in Nashville.

Authorities said he was shooting at a car when the bullet hit Ludwig in the head.

It may have been an hour before anyone knew she had been hit and before police responded.

As darkness fell on the Jersey Shore, an entire community came together at The Church of Brielle to mourn on Thursday night -- in sadness and shock and disbelief over the sudden, tragic death of Ludwig.

Pastor Louis Lafazia held back tears, he was struggling like so many to come to terms with the loss.

"She always lit up the room, she always smiled,' Lafazia said. "She always was giving and generous with her time and her talents. She was humble about it as well."

Her college classmates held a prayer vigil Wednesday and her neighbors held one in New Jersey on Wednesday night. Jillian was a talented musician who lived her life determined to give back to her community.

Dawne Mechlinski was her musical director.

"She gave her time and talent here and she always helped with the little children and to have someone that's been preparing their whole life, now in college literally just starting, and the world will never get a chance to see what a remarkable young woman she was and how much she had to offer," Mechlinski said.

Taylor, the suspect arrested in the case, had been arrested twice before for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. But according to court papers, he was found incompetent to stand trial-yet insufficiently disabled to be involuntarily committed.

His mother testified Taylor "developed pneumonia at birth that led to a brain infection." That he was diagnosed as a child with an intellectual disability, later graduated with a special education degree and "still functioned on a kindergarten level."

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