A Baltimore family is mourning the loss of a 21-year-old woman who was shot and killed last week while trying to help a friend flee from a situation of domestic abuse.
According to police, the unidentified surviving woman told officers she was involved in a physical altercation with her child’s father, Ramon Burks Jr., who reportedly punched her in the face multiple times.
The woman then got into her car to leave and Kaylyn High was riding in the passenger seat. When their car passed by Burks, he reportedly pulled out a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and shot at the car twice, striking High in the head.
High was then rushed to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Burks, 25, was charged with first-degree murder and other charges, according to Burks’ charging documents.
High was also the niece of a Letrice Gant, Baltimore’s Ceasefire organizer, according to The Baltimore Sun.
A crowd of nearly 100 people held a vigil in south Baltimore Thursday night. Kaylyn’s family spoke with reporters about the loss of the young woman, who often went by “Mimi.”
"She was just very liked by so, so many people, and you couldn't help but love her. If you met her, you would say, 'Mimi come on over,'" Sharon Butler, Kaylyn’s grandmother, told WBAL.
While standing in front of candles lit to honor the victim, High's mother, Toya Sykes-Coates, encouraged friends and family members to stand up for those in need like her daughter.
"You do have a responsibility to your friends, and that responsibility is to keep them safe and to keep them here," said Sykes-Coates. "And we're never going to see her again. We're never going to see her again, but we can work for her."
According to Sykes-Coates, High will be posthumously honored through a foundation called "Kay Day," which provides resources for victims of domestic violence.
(Photo: WJZ 13)