MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Autumn Rose Merrick was only 18 when her life was taken from her.
She was an innocent bystander on her way home from work, on a scooter, when one of the two vehicles involved in a rolling shootout rolled onto the sidewalk and struck and killed her.
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Autumn was only 5ft 2in tall, but she was a giant of a girl, sister, cousin, friend, and classmate. Carmane Teetzel is his mother.
âShe was so beautiful, she stood out in the crowd,â Carmane said.
Autumn was known for her sweet smile and for putting everyone’s needs before her own. This is why so many people considered her their best friend.
âJust a happy person, loved everyone and everything, and never judged anyone on anything about them,â Carmane said.
Autumn had a love of animals and a flair for fashion. She rarely repeated a hairstyle and liked to accessorize with glasses. The recent Southwest High School graduate was also a founding member of Green Garden Bakery, an award-winning, youth-run business selling vegetable-based desserts.
âI think Autumn really enjoyed the experience she had with Ms. Elana, learning a lot of different and new things, you know, just open your eyes,â Carmane said.
Autumn and her mother had a special bond, as she was the oldest of nine children. Casey Nimmerfroh is his godmother.
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âShe was very responsible, you know, working, going to school, helping Carmane take care of the kids,â Casey said.
Autumn’s mother says she always knew where her daughter was and what she was doing. This was also the case the night his life was taken.
âShe just got out of work and all she wanted was a few things from the store so she could enjoy the rest of her night at home. This is where she was going, this is her home, âsaid Carmane.
But she never succeeded.
âThe sad thing is that I left the door unlocked so she could come in so she wouldn’t be stuck out all night,â Carmane said.
Parents, siblings, close family and friends all wonder why her. David Merrick is his father.
âThere are words that can be said to bring anyone back or bring her back,â David said. “It just hurts.”
“I always try to make my daughter so safe, and just to have someone take her away from me, all that hard work you do, you know, and off you go.”
Autumn’s family wants the violence to stop. They also want those responsible for his death to be brought to justice.
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Autumn helped her mother with her siblings. A GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral costs and to help his siblings.