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'Her parents shouldn’t be having to bury their baby': Friend remembers Gilbert woman killed by apartment intruder

A 19-year-old woman called the police and said she was shot by an "unknown person" inside her apartment near San Tan Village Parkway and Ray Road.

GILBERT, Ariz. — Cheyenne Walters was scrolling through social media when she saw the horrific story.

A 19-year-old woman called 911 Saturday morning, saying she’d been shot by an intruder in her apartment near San Tan Village Parkway and Ray Road.

"I saw the post but scrolled past it, it was a good day and I didn't want to read about the bad news but something kept telling me to go back to that post, go back and see what that post says, I read through it and it said Rachel Hansen, a 19-year-old woman with a gunshot wound was found, I didn't finish reading the post, I called her immediately, and it went straight to voicemail," Walters said.

Cheyenne's heart sank when she learned it was her friend, Rachel Hansen, who had been killed.  

Walters can't believe anyone would purposefully harm Hansen. She described Rachel as a kind, caring, and compassionate person who easily built relationships with everyone she met, especially those in the horse community in the East Valley.

"I was like, oh my God it went straight to voicemail, I need to figure out what the rest of this says, I never thought it was going to say that she passed, she passed alone and scared, her mother was out of town, her mother had to get on a plane to fly back just to say goodbye to her daughter," Walters explained.

Meanwhile, Gilbert police are still actively investigating exactly what happened at Rachel's home at Redstone Apartments.

"I have also been sent a screenshot of the apartment complex's response to this unfortunate situation, they were just advising that people's doors are locked, get to know your neighbors, and to take those extra security measures," Walters said.

Walters said this shooting happened just days after Hansen's prized mare, that's pregnant with twins, was allegedly stolen from her property in the East Valley. 

"She lit with so much joy, telling me about how much her family means to her and for this pregnancy to happen because it was her prized possession, she loved that mare more than anything in the world."

While police haven't confirmed whether or not the alleged horse theft is connected, Walters believes this shooting was no accident.

"She was my client, she was my friend back in December when she was subleasing the apartment. She had just finished moving back into that apartment on Thursday, came and saw me first thing Friday morning and less than 24 hours later, it's released that she had been shot and killed and had just barely moved back into and I don't find that to be a coincidence at all. This never should've happened, her parents shouldn’t be having to bury their baby."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Gilbert police or submit information through their tip portal

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