MIAMI (WSVN) – A grieving community is demanding justice as they came together to remember a 6-year-old girl who, her family said, was fatally gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Miami, sending two other people to the hospital.
7News cameras captured family members, friends and well-wishers as they gathered in Miami to pay their respects to Chassidy Saunders, Monday evening.
“If you see something,” a woman screamed.
“Say something,” attendees at the packed memorial replied.
The memorial near the scene of the crash has grown since Sunday, as mourners continue to leave flowers, candles, balloons and stuffed animals on the side of the road.
Family and friends gathered Sunday evening as well to remember the young victim.
Video posted to Facebook showed loved ones holding hands as they paid tribute to the 6-year-old.
Her grandmother, Sharon Cullins, described her as a lively girl.
“She was a diva, a real diva. She loved lipstick, makeup and hair and nair and lip gloss,” said Cullins.
According to people close to Saunders’ family, she was at another child’s birthday party on Northwest Sixth Place, near 54th Street, when shots rang out.
“I heard ‘boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.’ It was so fast,” said a man who lives in the neighborhood.
Miami Police said the gunman or gunmen opened fire into a crowd of women and children at around 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“The kids’ party was literally just ending, and it was 7 p.m.,” said an area resident who asked not to be identified or show her face on camera.
The area resident said she was inside her home when she heard rapid gunfire.
“I heard at least 20-some shots,” she said.
She and others ran out to find the injured victims, including Saunders.
“Oh, my God, it was so scary because she was really scared, and she was crying. You could hear the little girl crying,” said the area resident.
Cameras captured multiple bullet holes on the windshield of a car and another one on the side of a vehicle.
At least a dozen evidence markers were scattered on the ground.
Officials said Saunders and one of the two adult victims were rushed to Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.
Saunders’ family said she would later succumb to her injuries.
Also on hand at Monday’s memorial was Florida State Rep. James Bush III. He said the family needs closure, and he had a message for the person or people responsible.
“Turn yourself in. You’re going to get caught, and enough is enough,” he said. “We have to stop this. You know, when you start now killing our babies, you have drawn the line.”
The tragedy has left loved ones and area residents wondering who could have pulled the trigger.
“It’s really sad, honestly. It’s just really sad that a kid is losing their life,” said a woman who lives in the area.
“I cried; it was sad. Innocent baby, that’s a baby,” said neighor James Sweet. “Every time I look up on the news, an innocent gets killed for what? For no reason at all, so I pray to good that y’all stop the madness and think about the little children.”
“If you know anything out there, people, please, please, justice for my grandchild, please,” said Cullins.
If you have any information on this fatal shooting, contact City of Miami Police or Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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