Wednesday, January 4, 2017

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Following shooting death of young Mount Vernon student athlete, city officials call for unity


McKenzie. Photo on gofundme page which
as of this morning, had raised almost
$19,000 of a $20,000 goal to help the
family cover expenses.

MOUNT VERNON – On Saturday afternoon, Shamoya McKenzie, 13, a basketball star at her Mount Vernon school, was shot in the head and killed while a back-seat passenger in a car on a city street. On Tuesday, school district and city officials called for unity in the community.

“A perfect child has been taken away from us,” her mother, Nadine McKenzie, said Tuesday.  Nadine was driving her daughter home from basketball practice when the apparently stray bullet entered the car.

No arrest has been made.

“A senseless act of violence,” is how Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hamilton described Shamoya’s death.

“There are no words that make this palatable, or understandable or even manageable, but I have to say if there is any good that has come out of this tragedy, it is the way the community has come together to support this family and help the community heal,” Hamilton said.

Mayor Richard Thomas said the city is “heartbroken” over Shamoya’s murder and he wants the appropriate resources put in place to put a lid on crime.

“The criminals have become somewhat comfortable, but we have taken extra steps over the last couple of days with our supporting resources – the FBI on down – to make sure these criminals know they are not welcome in Mount Vernon,” he said.

Thomas said the city has the resources to fight crime, but the city council has misplaced priorities, noting the police department has been reduced by 38 positions over the last two years.

 


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