CLEVELAND- It has been five months since a 12-year-old Cleveland girl was shot and killed in a domestic violence dispute. Now, her mother is doing everything in her power to keep her daughter's memory alive.
Da’Via Garth loved butterflies and her smile lit up the room. She was also a sister, a granddaughter and a loving friend.
"The smiles, the kisses, I love you. I probably took that for granted because I would say ‘Stop kissing so much; your lips are going to fall off,’" said her mother, Sonya Garth.
Da'Via's life would end at the hands of her stepfather, Rufus Gray, on Oct. 30 inside their Clement Avenue home. Gray was in the process of shooting his wife, but killed his stepdaughter instead.
"He shot me in my breast, my side, my arm. I fell. He stood over me and was still shooting. My daughter jumped up to protect her mommy. She said, ‘Mommy!’ He shot and missed her head, but shot her in the torso."
Despite the tragedy, Garth said she has no plans on moving, but wants to rename this street in honor of her daughter. She already has received more than a thousand signatures on a petition she's been circulating to have her street renamed. A petition can also be found on the website Change.org.
The renaming would need the support of Ward 12 Councilman Anthony Brancatelli, who told Fox 8, while he does sympathize with the family, this is something he cannot support at this time. Brancatelli said Garth can appeal his decision.
Garth is also in the process of purchasing a vacant lot on Clement Avenue to turn into a memorial garden and playground in honor of Da’Via.
As for Gray, he is expected in court for a pretrial hearing on April 2. His trial for aggravated murder is expected to begin in September.