Police identified the woman fatally shot in front of a Mississauga nightclub last month as 19-year-old Raneilia Richards, "a young woman with a bright future" who was supposed to attend her first day of college this week.

In the early hours of Dec. 31, Richards was shot while standing in front of Jungle Event Space, on Eglinton Avenue East, with her sister and boyfriend. Police said they have no reason to believe she was the intended target of the shooting, calling her "an innocent bystander."

First responders found Richards seriously injured. Despite life-saving efforts, she died at the scene.

“Raneilia was doing nothing more that night than being with her friends, intending to enjoy the evening, when her life was tragically taken away,” Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

When the shots rang out, investigators say approximately 100 people were standing in front of the club. The fact that no other injuries were reported was an "absolute miracle," Duraiappah said.

At this time, investigators have not identified a suspect, but are looking to speak with the driver of a vehicle captured on surveillance footage driving away from the scene. On Tuesday, they released an image of the suspect vehicle in an effort to locate its driver.

“As you can imagine, time is of the essence not only for investigators but for the family and friends of this young woman,” Duraiappah said. “They deserve answers for what has happened.”

Anyone with information relevant to the incident is being asked to contact Peel police homicide investigators at 905-453-2121 extension 3205.

suspect vehicle


“Raneilia was a young woman with a bright future,” Duraiappah told reporters Tuesday. “She was a talented athlete and a friend to many."

A resident of North York, Richards was meant to embark on her first day of college on Monday, the chief said. She wanted to work in the travel and aviation industry.

"What she deserves is to be remembered for the bright and exuberant young woman she was in life and not for the tragic circumstances surrounding her death, which was simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time," Duraiappah said. "Raneilia deserves justice and she needs to be celebrated for who she was and the profound impact her life has had."

Raneilia Richards


1325 Eglinton Avenue East has had a history of incidents, police told reporters Tuesday.

Before it was Jungle Event Space, the building was home to an establishment called ‘Her Nightclub.’

“For very similar reasons, where there was increased violence that plagued not only the premises but the local area, we worked very hard with the City of Mississauga and our stakeholders to get it shut down,” Duraiappah said. “Months later, it reopened as the current premises.”

In the wake of Richards' death, the owners have voluntarily made the decision to close, police said. They did not specify whether temporarily or permanently. 

HER nightclub