Gun Violence Takes Innocent Life in Crossfire: “You took a beautiful soul from us…”

Family expressed their grief over tragic loss of three-year old Shaquille Walker Jr. Thanks community for its support.

Danette Jenifer was able to compose herself just long enough to express her profound grief in a few simple words.

“The people that did this…you took a beautiful soul from us,” she began. “Y’all really, like, ruined my life. Yes, I do have another son to live for, ”she said referring to her  one-year-old. “But I’ll never get another Shaquille Walker Jr.”

Those who took Shaquille from her, continued the  24-year-old mother, also   “took him    from his little brother” who he loved to hug, and “taught how to brush his teeth and put on his clothes.”

Shaquille Walker Jr.

Standing with Danette at the press conference last Thursday in MLK Park was her father, Poshine Jennifer, Artavia Anderson, her mother and Venita Underwood.

“To those who have supported us at this very harsh time, we want to say thank you so very much,” said Mr. Jennifer “We don’t have no ill will against nobody – never did never will- but we have a family member that left tragically and it’s a very sad situation, but everybody’s going to pull through.” 

Tina Sanders, the dedicated community worker and  founder of  No More Tears ,who reached out to the family and provided assistance, was also on hand.

“On behalf of No More Tears, we have got to remember that this baby….this young vibrant baby  never had a chance to live his life to the fullest. You destroyed a family” and devastated a community, she said directing her words to those involved in little Shaquille’s death. “We should be celebrating, not talking about the loss of a baby. So wherever you may be, however you may feel, it’s time for you to come forward.”

She urged the community to keep the family in  their prayers “We must remember this family even  after the service (funeral) is over, because people tend to forget”  she said. “They will still need wrapping arms, loving care and support.”

The adorable little boy was caught in a crossfire when shots rang out on  the Fourth of July holiday as a crowd watched fireworks in the Ferry Grider Homes on Donovan Drive. Shaquille was hit in the head. He was rushed to Children’s hospital but died a few days later from his injuries. Two others were injured.

The Shaquille family laid him to rest last Saturday.

Funeral was held at True Bethel Baptist Church where the Rev. Darius Pridgen preached the eulogy.