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
About an hour and a half later, Shelby's phone fired up again. But this time it was Jane who was texting a boy - a friend of Shelby's - whom she supposedly had a crush on.
"She wont sober up at all," Jane's texts read. "im freaking out have no ide wat to do," "shelb is out [boy's name omitted] I f______ neeed hellp..." and "shelb is just half snoring shaking. I neeed you so dab right now." The boy offered to come over but said he'd have to tell his father first. He could write a note and leave, Jane suggested, and when he rejected this idea, she eventually dropped the matter. The boy sent one last text - "Feel better Shelby:)" - later in the morning.
Around 8:00 A.M., the father of the house, a prominent area veterinarian, was preparing to open the medical office on his property to treat the day's first clients. Intercepted by his daughter, who had been up most of this time, he asked about the previous night. "Shelby's not feeling well," Jane reported, but she apparently sounded no alarm.
It wasn't until Alyssa awoke around one hour later that anyone took notice of Shelby's condition. She went to check on her and was horrified by what she found: Shelby was still slumped in the downstairs bathroom, completely motionless. Her head hung over the edge of the toilet bowl, her lip split from having slammed against the porcelain in a bout of violent heaving. Pulling Shelby up, Alyssa saw her friend's face streaked in blood. She tried to rouse her, but Shelby remained unresponsive. An older sister was summoned and phoned her father. He quickly returned to the house and dialed 911 to have an ambulance sent to his home right away because he'd found "a child that's here, and I don't think she's breathing." When asked if he was sure she wasn't breathing, he responded, "I can't...I'm not sure she's alive right now."
Shelby Allen's parents are devastated to learn what happened to their daughter
Dispatchers instructed him on how to perform CPR, urging him to continue until medical help arrived. The EMTs who arrived on the scene found a weak pulse, but were unable to revive the girl. Shelby Allen was pronounced dead at 9:40 on the morning of December 20. Her blood-alcohol content was 0.33, four times the legal driving limit for adults in California.
The Allens entered a disturbing parallel universe from that moment on. In 1987, Debbie and Steve had lost a baby to sudden infant death syndrome; they had never imagined they would have to grieve like that again. "That fear was always with me," says Debbie. "Shortly before I lost Shelby, we watched Steel Magnolias together; Shelby, the daughter, dies in the movie, and I remember thinking as I watched my dear girl next to me, How could I be without her? I told my Shelby, 'Don't ever leave this world before I do; I couldn't take it again.' We sat there sobbing together, and she said, 'Mom, don't worry; I won't!' "