Kaylyn Pryor's life was looking up. On Sept. 24 the 20-year-old from Evanston, Ill., won hairstylist Mario Tricoci's "Mario, Make Me a Model" contest. On Monday, Pryor and a 15-year-old boy were leaving her grandparents' house when a car pulled up next to them, opened fire and sped off. Pryor and the teen were taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The teen, who was not named, was in critical condition. The shooting happened around 6 p.m. Monday as authorities said Pryor was walking to catch a bus that would take her home.
"She was going home to print out the modeling contract from Factor, to sign it, and to send it back to them so she would be a signed model with the agency," Pryor's sister, Chantal Pryor, told ABC 7 News.
According to the news station, police do not believe Pryor was the target of the shooting, but don't know if the teen she was walking with was.
Just a few weeks before her death, Pryor posed in an anti-violence campaign, holding a teddy bear to represent the types of makeshift memorials, which usually include stuffed animals and cards, left at the scenes of fatal shootings. The news station notes that a memorial now lies near Pryor's grandparents' home.
Pryor studied at Robert Morris College and worked as a paralegal. She was a track star and cheerleader at Evanston Township High School. She and a friend were walking down a street when they saw a flier advertising for a model tryout at th Mario Tricoci hair salon.
"We are saddened and brokenhearted to learn of the tragic passing of Kaylyn Pryor. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family," Tricoci said in a statement.
"This touches every one of us who knew and worked with her," he said. "Kaylyn will be remembered for her kind and generous spirit. She truly was beautiful inside and out."
Read more at ABC 7 News.