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'I started breaking down:' Friends remember 15-year-old Calgary homicide victim

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A 15-year-old girl shot to death in the northeast Calgary community of Martindale early Tuesday morning, has now been identified by friends and police as Sarah Alexis Jorquera.

Jorquera was a passenger in the front seat of a Ford Mustang around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when she was shot and killed.

Police were called to the 200 block of Martin Crossing Crescent N.E. for reports of gunfire coming from a nearby alley.

Jorquera was shot while the vehicle was in an alley of the 300 block of Martindale Drive N.E. According to police, she was in the front passenger seat of the vehicle at the time.  

Police say the driver did not sustain any physical injuries.

Calgary police investigate a deadly shooting in the community of Martindale on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.

Police say they have received several tips that suggest it was a targeted shooting, but that they are still working to determine if Jorquera was the intended target or a victim of mistaken identity.

The Calgary Board of Education confirmed Wednesday that Jorquera was a student at Crescent Heights High School. They said they're in the process of informing the school community and that supports will be available at the school Monday when classes resume following spring break.

SHATTERED BY THE NEWS

Stephanie Topolnicki lives in Spruce Grove, and said she was good friends with Jorquera.

The pair even lived together for the month of January this year in Calgary.

Topolnicki said she was at a friend’s house when she found out Jorquera had been killed.

“I was just about to go to bed, it was six in the morning and I got a call, (saying) you need to pick up,” said Topolnicki.

“I was like, okay, okay, I'll pick up. (Her sister said) 'Sarah's gone'. I was like, what do you mean? Maybe she just didn't come home but the sound of her sister's voice, and then I started breaking down.”

Topolnicki said she felt shattered by the news of losing someone she considers a little sister.

“I felt like I lost my sister and my best friend. It hurt a lot."

Jorquera and her friend Stephanie Topolnicki (Photo courtesy Stephanie Topolnicki)

Topolnicki said she has dealt with a lot of anxiety since Jorquera’s death.

“A lot of like unknown anger. I just want to know, why,” said Topolnicki.

"She didn't deserve that or anything and everyone knows that. But it's hard to not know what happened to your best friend that's been there for so long.”

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