[Heartbreaking] 9-Year-Old Milwaukee Girl Dies, Asked Police if They’d Protect Her Days Before Being Shot

[Heartbreaking] 9-Year-Old Milwaukee Girl Dies, Asked Police if They’d Protect Her Days Before Being Shot

Za’layia Jenkins was struck in the head by a stray bullet the day before her birthday.

Published May 18, 2016

Days after asking police if they’d protect her, a 9-year-old girl was shot and killed.

Za’layia Jenkins would have turned 10 on Tuesday if a stray bullet that struck her in the head hadn’t ended her short life.

The Milwaukee girl, who was the victim of crossfire between two groups armed with rifles and pistols on May 5, had asked local police about a week earlier if they could keep her safe. Police recovered more than 40 shell casing from the scene.

Za’layia was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. on Monday.

“I’m so numb,” Za’layia’s mother, Destiny Boone, said as hundreds gathered at a rally Tuesday. “She had her whole life ahead of her. I don’t understand why anybody would do this to her.”

Rewards totaling $35,000 are being offered for information in the shooting of the innocent little girl.

While no arrests have been made, police are trying to hunt down the owner of a green Jeep Cherokee.

Approximately one week before, Za’layia asked Captain Shunta Boston-Smith why she was in her neighborhood. She informed the little girl that it was in order to keep it safe. Za’layia then asked if police could keep her safe.

“Sadly, that question was answered tonight,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.

Another sad fact is how Za’layia isn’t the first child to die from a stray bullet in Wisconsin’s largest city.

Laylah Petersen, 5, was shot and killed while sitting on her grandfather’s lap inside a home on Nov. 6, 2014. Shortly after that on Dec. 27, 13-month-old Bill Thao was killed by gunfire while playing with relatives inside a duplex.

Written by Zayda Rivera

(Photo: Andersen Ross, Getty Images)


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