(MILWAUKEE) — The grandmother of an 11-year-old Milwaukee girl killed in a weekend drive-by shooting that also left her 5-year-old sister injured said on Monday that the children were coming home from a birthday party with their mother when a gunman opened fire on their car.
The death of Ta’Niyla Parker has sparked widespread outrage in Milwaukee and community activists have taken to the streets holding signs reading, “Stop killing our children.”
“She was very smart, outgoing. She was a loving big sister to her little sister,” Ta’Niyla’s grandmother, Janice Little, told ABC News on Monday.
Little said she was Ta’Niyla’s legal guardian and that the child has lived with her since she was born.
“I hope they get caught and get arrested,” Little said of her granddaughter’s killer.
The shooting unfolded about 9 p.m. on Saturday in the Sherman Park neighborhood in northwest Milwaukee, according to the Milwaukee Police Department. A vehicle pulled up alongside the family’s car and gunfire erupted, police said.
Sherman Park resident Kristofer Koneazny told ABC affiliate station WISN in Milwaukee that he called 911 after hearing around 15 gunshots in rapid succession.
No arrests have been made in the homicide and police are still working to identify the person or persons responsible for the shooting, authorities said.
Police said a relative was driving the car and took the wounded children to the District 7 police precinct several blocks away, where officers performed first aid and called Milwaukee Fire Department paramedics.
The sisters were taken to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, where the older child died early Sunday morning, police said.
No arrests made in ambush shooting death of 11-year-old girl https://t.co/iOwIPCNe3V
— WISN 12 NEWS (@WISN12News) October 4, 2021
Little said her daughter, Talea Hairston, was driving the girls to her home when the shooting occurred.
She said Hairston had taken her daughters to a friend’s birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese in Milwaukee.
“She called about 9 o’clock. I’m thinking she’s calling to say, ‘Come open up the door because I’m fixing to drop the kids off,"” Little said. “But she just called and started hollering and screaming and said, ‘The babies were shot."”
She said her younger grandchild suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
“She’s doing better. She’s walking now and they said that she would probably be able to come home today,” Little said.
She said Ta’Niyla was a sixth-grader and loved drawing cartoons on her cellphone.
“She loved her anime,” Little said, referring to a Japanese style of cartoons. “She was doing all of that on her phone. She loved to do that.”
Community activists in the Sherman Park neighborhood took to the streets Sunday afternoon to draw attention to the tragedy.
“I’m a father myself and seeing what happened … the senseless act of violence where a little kid has to die, I think enough is enough,” Walter Garron of the Brown Berets community social justice group, told WISN.
Garron was one of several community activists holding signs reading “Stop killing our children.”
“We’re trying to bring awareness make sure people know there are other people here watching,” Garron said, “and we are caring about their families and the community and we want this stopped.”
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