WASHINGTON - The uncle of a 10-year-old girl who was killed when gunmen opened fire into a crowd in a Northeast D.C. neighborhood says her death is heartbreaking. Mike D'Angelo, local recording artist, says that he and her family are trying to cope with Wilson's senseless murder while keeping her memory alive.
D'Angelo says Makiyah's beauty and smile were captivating and that her presence lit up a room. He said portraits of his niece, painted by artist Demont Pinder, will accompany him across the U.S. "I'll be taking these paintings around the country to shed light, not only on violence, but making sure the world always knows she existed and she is still here with us." He said her mother, Donnetta, and other family member are on an "emotional rollercoaster."
He said shedding light on the actions of those who committed this crime and other crimes like this is a step toward taking back the community. "People do things like this in darkness because they're trying to be discreet. They're trying to be sneaky. If we shed light on these issues consistently, when people know that the light is shining on them and they have the spotlight, they'll think for a quick second they don't want to get caught or they don't want to be seen."
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham joined FOX 5 on Tuesday and said the one thing the police department can do for the family is to give them closure by finding out who murdered Makiyah. "It happens way too frequently in our community an we're going to put a stop to it," he said.
Newsham said preliminarily, police believe the shooting stemmed from a disagreement between neighborhoods. He thanked everyone who has provided information to the police. "We have made progress and we intend to find the men that are responsible." He says his department plans on doing everything possible to get to the bottom of the case.