Had things turned out differently, Vanessa Swaissi would have been in Florida today for a summer getaway. Instead, her friends and family are mourning a life cut short by a teenage gunman. Police identified Swaissi, 25, as the woman shot to death Thursday in northeast Oklahoma City. She was found on the street near a Cadillac coupe in the 300 block of NE 63 about 4:20 p.m. She and a female passenger had given a ride to two male passengers, who robbed them and shot Swaissi, police said. Her passenger was not hurt. Police said they are still searching for the suspects, described as teenagers, who ran into a nearby apartment complex wearing white T-shirts and jeans. ‘She didn’t have enemies’ Shannon Ford, 25, Swaissi's close friend, described Swaissi as the most caring, ambitious and lively person she's ever met. "Everybody loved Vanessa," Ford said. "She was just that kind of person. I mean, I loved that girl, and so did so many other people. ... There are a lot of people who won't know what to do without her." Another of Swaissi’s friends said she would do whatever she could to further her dreams and those of her closest friends and relatives. “She was just one of those people where if you had something going on that she thought was a good idea, she would put all of her energy into it to make it better than what it was,” said a close friend who asked not to be identified. Swaissi, who had recently resumed going to church and school, was preparing to leave for a Florida vacation Friday, he said. She and the friend had worked together to promote and manage local hip hop artists, and Swaissi worked hard at modeling and was featured in numerous hot rod magazines. The friend said Swaissi knew more about cars than even the most diehard gear-heads. “Guys would come up to her and talk to her about cars, but she’d know more about their car than they did,” he said. “She’d look at them and say, ‘I know what you’ve got under that hood. If you want to race, I’ll win.’” The friend said he’s still trying to cope with what happened and doesn’t understand the senseless violence that led to her death. “She didn’t have enemies because she wasn’t that type of person,” he said. “She was the ideal person who anyone would want to be with in a relationship.” Authorities do not have any evidence linking the suspects in Swaissi’s death to a robbery in Del City early Thursday during which a man was fatally shot, but police are not ruling out a connection, said Oklahoma City police Sgt. Paco Balderrama. The suspects in both shootings have been described as two teenaged males. People with information about the shooting are asked to call Oklahoma City Crime Stoppers at 235-7300 or send a text message to (405) 415-5666.
Contributing: Augie Frost and Brian Sargent, Staff Writers
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Vanessa R. Swaissi - Photo provided