Silsbee students remember teen shooting victim

Students' tributes to Tristan Dilley (inset) | photos

Students at Silsbee High School wore purple Tuesday, Oct. 3 to mark what would have been Tristan Dilley’s 15th birthday, Assistant Principal David Biddle confirmed.

Dilley's death was discovered Sunday, Oct. 1, amid mysterious circumstances.

Jasper County Sheriff’s deputies received a call about an unresponsive juvenile female at a residence on County Road 784 in Buna Oct. 1 about 7:45 p.m., according to Jasper County Sheriff Mitch Newman. The residence was her mother's home, according to an obituary from the funeral home. 

CPR was in progress when officers arrived, but the victim had been shot in the head, Newman said.

Dilley's little brother discovered her body, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser organized by a woman claiming to be a distant relative. Dilley was spending the night with her mother for her birthday and was home alone, the fundraiser states, which has raised $2,250 as of Oct. 3.

Oct. 2, law enforcement identified a suspect in the shooting death on FM 1135 in Orange County, but he killed himself before investigators could speak with him, according to Newman. The suspect, Paul Adams, 19, shot himself on a canal bank near FM 1135, according to Orange County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Derry Dunn. 

Buna High School staff and counselors met with students in the school cafeteria on the morning of Oct. 3, Principal Roy Farias said. The students talked and shared memories of Dilley.

"We spoke with a lot of the freshman that went [to school] with her in junior high school," he said.

Buna freshman also wore purple for Dilley, which Farias was told was her favorite color.

"We felt that they would need ... that support," Farias added. "It’s a horrible situation, and we’re trying to make sure we all stick together through it."

Posts from friends and family on Facebook commemorated her birthday, many echoing the sentiment “fly high, Tristan."

Silsbee ISD's official statement "regretfully acknowledge[d]" the death of a student, but did not release her name.

The district said they are "working to make sure that students and staff of Silsbee High School are comforted as they learned of this tragic and sudden loss.

"There are currently many local clergy and counselors available on the campus to comfort and pray with those grieving."