By Velena Jones

MODESTO (CBS13) – A memorial was held in Modesto for a 16-year-old girl killed in a party bus shooting overnight in Oakland.

The victim, Zoey Hughes, and a 19-year-old from Stockton died when gunmen opened fire on the freeway.

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Family and friends are devastated tonight, knowing that a birthday celebration turned deadly and took the life of a daughter, sister, and friend.
Loved ones want those responsible behind bars.

“She was just my baby girl,” said Christina Hughes, Zoey’s mother.

Balloons, candles, and pictures filled the front yard of Christina Hughes’ home — honoring Zoey.

“They took away her life; we won’t get to see her again. We don’t get to see her graduate high school, we don’t get to see her get married, I don’t get to see her kids,” said Christina.

The teen from Modesto was celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday when, CHP says, at least two gunmen opened fire on the party bus Zoey was on while driving on I-580. The gunfire followed the bus onto city streets, shattering windows and spraying the bus with dozens of bullet holes.

“We are just like, why? Why chase someone down on a freeway and shoot them continuously? What’s the point,” said Thomas Augustine, Zoey’s stepfather. “They took a piece of my heart.”

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He says the gunmen were targeting someone else.

“There was somebody on the bus that they were shooting at that they wanted to get and they couldn’t get them so they shot everybody,” he said.

The gunfire injured five others and killed a 19-year-old girl from Stockton. A Bay Area television station identified her as Alayasia Thurston. Tonight, heartbroken friends and family are praying and remembering Zoey for her smile and laughter.

“My sister was too young and I just want her to get justice and for whoever did this to be in jail,” said Zoey’s stepsister.

“She was just a beautiful person inside and out. She just had a heart of gold, she didn’t mean harm, she was just a good good girl,” said Christina.

The CHP says the shooting was targeted, although it’s unclear what motivated this attack.

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Police are still looking for the shooters.

Velena Jones