Crime & Courts

Woodstock North offering support after 16-year-old student killed in Phoenix

Sophomore Faith Kies was fatally shot in Arizona

Faith Kies
Faith Kies

WOODSTOCK – Woodstock North High School is offering extra support to students coping with the death of a sophomore who was shot in Arizona over the weekend as police continue to investigate the fatal shooting.

Faith Kies, 16, was pulled off life support Saturday night, a day after she was found Friday in a Phoenix home with a gunshot wound to the head along with her "boyfriend" 24-year-old Alexander O’Neill, who had suffered a fatal, self-inflicted wound, Phoenix police and the McHenry County Sheriff's Office said.

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office said O'Neill was also of Woodstock.

Principal Brian McAdow emailed a notice to all parents informing them a student at the school had died. He said all counselors and social workers would be available to talk to any students who needed help after the tragic event.

“We are committed to helping our students in any way as they deal with this event,” McAdow wrote in the email. “Our deepest sympathies go out to our student's family and friends.”

Faith's father, Stormy Kies, told the Northwest Herald his daughter was involved in track and field, made honor roll and performed in a play during her time in high school. He remembered her as a creative teen who was a leader among her friends.

The family said they reported Faith missing Jan. 13, when authorities believe O'Neill picked her up and drove her to his parents' house in Phoenix. Stormy Kies said his daughter left a note. He described O'Neill as a roommate and friend of Faith's sister. Family had discouraged a romantic relationship between the two, the elder Kies said.

Phoenix police Sgt. Vince Lewis said O'Neill's parents were not expecting him and Faith. They also were unaware Faith was missing and underage until police spoke to them through the locked iron gate outside their home about 9:15 p.m. Friday, Lewis said.

"The whole incident was a very shocking turn of events," Lewis said. "He told them she was over the age of 18. They were unaware she was 16 and missing. They were taken aback when police told them."

Lewis said as O'Neill's parents were talking to police, they heard two gunshots from inside the home. When they entered, they found the pair. Police believe O'Neill shot Faith before turning the gun on himself.

The Phoenix police had gone to the home after the McHenry County Sheriff's Office alerted them and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to a release from the Phoenix department. The first time they went by the home, about 7 p.m., the vehicle they had been told to look for was not there, but the second time about 9:15 p.m., it was.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office is investigating both of the deaths, but has not made any determinations on cause or manner, an official said Tuesday.

It's unclear whose gun was used in the shooting, Lewis said, as Arizona does not have a gun registry. Police are running the gun's information against national records. Police also have not determined a motive.

Lewis said O'Neill's parents have not been charged in connection to the incident.

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