‘Where Are You Safe?' 12-Year-Old Girl Killed by Stray Bullet in Home Mourned at Funeral

Mourners attending the funeral of a 12-year-old girl shot through the window of her Long Island home said Friday that her death was senseless and they hope her killer is brought to justice.

Many attending the funeral at Union Baptist Church in Hempstead wore pink and black because pink was Dejah Joyner's favorite color, and some wore pins with her photo.

Twelve-year-old schoolmate Aaliyah Fitzgerald, who walked home from school with Joyner every day, was among the mourners wearing that pin. She said her friend's "feels like a dream" and that "it feels like I will wake up and she will be running home with me again."

Joyner died Oct. 17, a day after she was shot in the head when a bullet pierced through a plate-glass window at her family's Hempstead home. Police have made no arrests.

"This child was in her own home, wasn't bothering a soul," said a relative, Jacquelyn Ancrum. "So where are you safe?"

"It's more emotional because you think about your own kids, and then you look at the fact that she lost her life for no reason, and no one can explain why this happened," added Darlene Saunders, a friend of the family. "And I hope they catch the person who did this to her."

A horse-drawn carriage brought Joyner's casket to the cemetery after the service.

Police are investigating whether gang activity led to Joyner's shooting and whether someone else in her house was the intended target.

"We have to come together and literally get these gangs off the streets," longtime Hempstead resident Keith Harrison said. "Something needs to be done."

If not, Harrison said, Joyner's parents won't be the last ones in the community to face the tragedy of losing a child.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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