15 Shots Killed Shelby Allen
What's perhaps more shocking is that the 17-year-old drank them at a friend's house, while the parents were home. Here, how her mom is fighting to make sure no other child dies this way
On that December night, after stopping for tacos, Shelby got a call on her cell from another pal, Jane (not her real name), who invited Alyssa and Shelby over to her house. Both of her older sisters were home, Jane explained, and she let the two girls know that she was drinking and everyone else was, too, says Alyssa.
By the time Shelby and Alyssa arrived, after midnight, the family had been drinking together, Jane included. Shelby chronicled the night on her cell phone: "Just family. It's nice though. Nothing like a [family's last name omitted] party.:)" she texted to a friend. She also snapped a photo of the full bar at the house (you can see her in the mirror, taking the picture), and there's another photo from that night of Shelby, casually dressed in a T-shirt, her blond hair loose, with Jane's father partly visible. His arm is around her slim shoulders, and the two are smiling widely. The holiday vacation had begun.
According to statements to the police, Jane's parents and her older sisters headed upstairs to bed around 1:00 A.M. Before retiring, Jane's father admonished the guests not to drink. (He later explained to police that he was concerned the girls were thinking of drinking, and he felt compelled to tell them not to.) He then left them seated around the open bar.
That was when the drinking really got under way. Shelby's drink of choice was vodka, and her goal that night was to down 15 shots of it. "I honestly don't know why she got that number in her head," says Alyssa. "Maybe she saw someone do it at a party. Shelby was an athlete [she played volleyball and was on the cross-country track team]; she had a competitive spirit. We all told her it was a bad idea, but she was determined to make that her goal." She started downing the shots at 1:08 A.M. When the first bottle of vodka ran dry, the girls found more. Shelby took a photo of the second frosted bottle and then tracked her progress in texts to friends.
A half-hour later, the 5-foot-6-inch, 107-pound girl had consumed 10 shots. "Slow down. You'll get sick," a classmate texted her back.
Shelby's messages got sloppier and sloppier until she sent her final texts of the evening, announcing that she'd reached her goal at 1:58 A.M.
When Shelby began to feel sick, Jane led her to the nearest bathroom to vomit. When Shelby seemed to pass out, she was propped against the toilet for the night. Her young pal then left to be with Alyssa, who at this point was also sick from drinking, and periodically checked on Shelby. Clearly, this party had gone out of control.