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Published on May 15, 2024
Family and Friends Mark Anniversary of Desiree Rivas' Unsolved Phoenix Shooting with Renewed Appeal for JusticeSource: Google Street View

One year following the tragic shooting that claimed the life of 17-year-old Desiree Rivas, her loved ones are tirelessly seeking justice. The incident, which occurred as Rivas was leaving a graduation party near 91st Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road exactly a year ago, has yet to yield any arrests. A vigil was recently held at Cesar Chavez Park, where mourners raised signs reading "Justice for Desiree," according to ABC15.

Vanessa Gonzales, Rivas' mother, vowed to keep her daughter's memory alive. "Her energy, it was always beautiful," Gonzalez said in a statement obtained by ABC15. Phoenix Police continue to actively investigate the case, urging anyone with pertinent information to step forward, even offering a $12,000 reward through Silent Witness.

Last year, residents of the West Phoenix neighborhood were shaken by the sound of gunfire that resulted in Rivas’ death. After the shots were fired, locals saw teens scattering. The police scene remained active for more than 12 hours. The late teen, a cheerleader at Cesar Chavez High School, was also honored by her cheer teammates and friends, ensuring her spirit is remembered. A framed cheer jersey was spotlighted during a senior night event back in February.

As the community grapples with the loss, her mother shared that Rivas' presence will be felt at the upcoming high school graduation. "It doesn't bring her back, we're still going to miss her," Gonzales told ABC15. Throughout the year, the family has worked to keep the case in the public eye, desperately trying to find closure. Desiree's father, Danny Rivas, said in an interview with ABC15: "You took someone who could have been a great person, and she meant a lot to everyone. And we're going to find you."

With no suspects in custody, authorities continue to appeal for public assistance to help solve the case that has left this family in relentless pursuit of answers. For tips leading to an arrest, the combined reward from Silent Witness and the FBI now stands at $12,000.