Shanlauie Drayton stood with family and community leaders for a prayer vigil Thursday, honoring the life of her 7-year-old daughter Alana Washington, who was shot and killed in a drive-by outside her home Saturday night.
“If you know something, if somebody told you something, just pick up the phone call the police,” Drayton said. “Call Crime Stoppers.”
Along with praying for peace, community leaders also prayed for justice.
“We’re praying that the perpetrators, that the perpetrators will be brought to justice very speedily,” said Nathaniel Wilcox, executive director of PULSE, which stands for People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality.
Three other members of Alana’s family were also shot and are still in the hospital, including a one-year-old.
On Friday, local activists will hit the streets for a walk demanding justice for Alana.
Community leaders held a virtual meeting discussing ways to curb gun violence and create economic opportunities.
“Undoing the type of environment that necessitates and creates opportunities for these types of crimes to happen,” said community activist Starex Smith. “That includes slum and blight, that includes, opportunities, economic opportunities.”
In the meantime, Drayton says getting her daughter’s killer off the streets is about more than getting closure, but making sure no other family goes through the same pain.
“They literally just took her life from her,” the mother said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. The reward for information is $55,000.