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Lawrence teen, 17, shot in Lowell, dies

Written By vibykhmer on Thursday, May 14, 2009 | 7:53 AM

Tavaryna Choeun, 17 - Paul Bilodeau / Courtesy photo

May 14, 2009
By Bill Kirk
The Eagle Tribune (North Andover, Massachusetts, USA)

LOWELL — A Lawrence teen who was shot and pushed out of a car on a street in Lowell Tuesday night died early this morning, her family told The Eagle-Tribune today.
Tavaryna Choeun, 17, who lived with her family at 184 Abbott St. before moving out of the house several months ago, was shot in the back of the head by unknown assailants, her body dropped on the side of Suffolk Street where she was found by Lowell police at 10:16 p.m. Tuesday.

She was taken to Lahey Clinic in Burlington and was on life support before succumbing to her injuries at 2 a.m. this morning, said her mother, Sophal Choeun, 45.

"I pray to God they find who did this to my daughter," said Choeun, a Cambodian immigrant who lives with her family, including three other children and her mother on the second floor of an Abbott Street multi-family house.

"I'll go see her in Boston today at 1 p.m.," she said quietly, her children and mother sitting by her side.

Choeun said her daughter had never been in trouble, and Lawrence Police Chief John Romero confirmed yesterday that she had never been arrested in Lawrence.

However, she said her oldest daughter was in the custody of the Department of Social Services because she kept dropping out of school.

"I didn't want her to drop out," she said.

The victim's sister, Maryanne Choeun, 18, said Tavaryna had dropped out of Lawrence High School in her freshman year and was a chronic runaway. She had run away from her foster home and was most recently living with her boyfriend in Lowell, a 20-year-old man, she said.

Tavaryna's father lives in California and is traveling in Cambodia, Maryanne Choeun said.

Aside from her mother and sister Maryanne, Tavaryna has a younger sister, Susan, 16, and brother, Peter, 7, and grandmother, Chy.

Maryanne Choeun told the Lowell Sun she hadn't talked to her sister in several months, but that she is a shy and quiet girl, who had no enemies and no problems with her boyfriend.

"We just want to know who did it," Maryanne Choeun said. "I can't believe they did this kind of stuff to my sister."

Lowell Police Capt. James McPadden said the investigation is ongoing and is being handled by District Attorney Gerard Leone's office.

A spokesman for Leone, Corey Welford, could not be reached for comment this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lowell police at (978) 937-3200 or Crimestoppers at (978) 459-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous, but can receive up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.


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