Family of Indiana seven-year-old shot and killed at birthday party speaks out

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 7:35 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The family of Chrisyah Stephens, seven-year-old who was shot and killed while another child’s birthday party Saturday, spoke out for the very first time.

It happened after a morning full of heartfelt reaction from city leaders, who held a press conference at the corner of Donald and high Street — where Chrisyah was killed.

Among those speaking on Monday was Chrisyah’s father, Christopher Stephens, saying his daughter should still be alive.

“My daughter was at a birthday party and it will be her last birthday party,” Christopher Stephens said holding back tears.

“The sweetest girl you all could ever meet. From day one, she has been a blessing. It’s like that saying, ‘Too good to be true.’ For seven years, that’s what I felt,” Chrisyah’s father said, before he walked away with tears running down his face.

More loved ones also breaking their silence on Monday after a rally that began at Riley High School, and ended at the scene of the crime, where Chrisyah’s memorial can be found.

Renita Stephens, Chrisyah’s aunt, says she still has a lot of hate in her heart but she hopes by bringing the community together, her niece will get the justice she deserves.

“For somebody to just come and shoot up, and kill my niece, for no apparent reason, I just don’t understand it,” Renita Stephens said, with one hand over her heart, fighting through tears to get every single word out.

Elizabeth Tallarite, a neighbor who lives a few doors down from where the shooting occurred, says she is disbelief how someone could do this to a young child like Chrisyah, especially in the neighborhood she has lived in for over 20 years.

“This is a tragedy. This is a horrible thing to happen. We have to stop this as a community together,” says Tallarite.

Following today’s events, many community members are calling on the individual(s) responsible time to turn themselves in.

At the time, no arrests have been made. If you have any information, you are asked to contact police.

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