RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — The 18-year-old killed in Rancho Cordova earlier this week has been identified as Saraiah Acosta by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office.
The man suspected of killing her is recovering after being shot three times by Elk Grove police officers.
ABC10 spoke with Acosta's aunt Friday who emphasized that her family doesn't want her to be remembered as a victim, but rather for who she was — someone who made everyone happy and looked out for her siblings.
"Always fun. Everybody wanted to be around her because she was the one that danced and she lived life," said Angela Martinez, Acosta's aunt.
She said her niece graduated from Cordova High School last year and recently got her permit to drive.
The news of Acosta's passing devastated her loved ones.
"It was a feeling that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. She was my baby before I even had babies," said Martinez. "This definitely took a piece of all of us."
The family doesn't want her story to end here. Martinez reflected back on the good times with her niece and their close knit family.
"I was there the day she was born and been there ever since," she said. "It's definitely going to be hard."
Martinez said her niece loved going to school and playing sports, including softball. She also said Acosta always looked out for her sisters and brother. She was a bright light to all who knew her.
"Anytime you're around her, you can't be sad, you can't be mad because she's just this jumpy, little cheerful, sassy person, because we can't leave out the sassy part," said Martinez. "You put on R. Kelly, that girl was dancing. You put on oldies, she was singing. She was the life of the party."
Family and friends gathered together for a candlelight vigil in Acosta's honor Thursday night. Her aunt was overcome by the outpouring of support.
"I guess, you just never really know how loved your children, your niece, your nephews are when they walk out of that house and the blessing she's put into the community," said Martinez. "The turnout was just amazing."
A GoFundMe was created and can be found HERE.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the homicide happened around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday on Ramsgate Way. Deputies say they received a report of a man stabbing a woman and running her over with a vehicle.
The woman, Saraiah Acosta, died at the scene from multiple stab wounds.
The suspect, 22-year-old Devian Lewis, was tracked to Elk Grove around 5 p.m. The sheriff’s office says deputies tried to stop him, but he didn’t stop, leading to a chase and crash on Bruceville Road.
Officials say Lewis started to leave his car holding what looked to officers like a gun, resulting in three officers firing at him and hitting him three times. It is unclear how many times officers fired their guns.
A gun was found in Lewis' front passenger seat and was later determined to be fake.
The officers involved are on administrative leave as Elk Grove police investigate the shooting. The sheriff’s office is investigating the homicide.
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