Community continues to remember Chrisyah Stephens, holds vigil

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 11:14 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The community continues to mourn after 7-year-old Chrisyah Stephens was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting on Aug. 29 in South Bend.

Thursday night, people gathered for a prayer vigil to honor Stephens near Donald and High Streets, where the incident happened.

The prayer vigil was hosted by On-Site Prayer Ministry.

The group has these vigils any time there is a homicide in St. Joseph County to let family members know they are not alone in their grief.

People said Stephens was a sweet kid, a good student, and had a bright future.

“This past month for us has been chaotic. My brain has been everywhere. I can’t think straight,” said Chanda Taylor, a friend of the family.

“I can’t imagine the agony of losing a seven-year-old child,” said vigil organizer Michael Elliott.

“I’m looking at her face on that shirt, I am looking at all the bears. Is this real? Did this really happen to us?” Taylor asked.

“Mother will never get a chance to stroke her again or fix her a meal or sit down to talk to her,” said community leader Lynn Coleman.

“I’ve been blessed to get to know the family and being touched with them, so I would not miss being part of this vigil to help show my continued support to the family,” said South Bend Common Council Member Sharon McBride.

Community leaders like Sharon McBride and Lynn Coleman said this violence has to stop.

Years ago, Coleman started the Let’s Turn It Around movement.

“Let’s Turn It Around speaks to violence, hatred, bitterness and bigotry. Violence is normally the end result of other issues,” Coleman said.

Coleman said we need to choose love and peace over violence.

It has been almost a month since Stephens died, and the family is asking her killer to come forward.

“It’s terrible, and I just ask that somebody please give my baby justice because she deserves it. She really does,” Taylor said.

Stay with 16 News Now on this developing story.

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