Community holds balloon release to honor 15-year-old shot, killed while riding in car


LYNDHURST, Ohio (WJW) — A moving tribute in honor of a 15-year old girl who was shot in the head and killed, while riding in a car.  Her community gathered on a high school football field for a balloon release in her memory.

Holding purple balloons, dozens of relatives, classmates and members of the community gather on the football field at Brush High School in Lyndhurst Friday evening, to remember 15-year Ke’viania James.

Ke’viania died July 5, after she was shot in the head while riding in a car with a relative in East Cleveland.

“My daughter just liked people, my daughter liked social media as al the ids do…that’s the main thing, she liked to do…she was very outgoing,” said the slain girl’s mother, Semika James.

Ke’viania was a sophomore cheerleader.  Her mother, father and brothers spoke to the crowd during the short vigil.

“I’m just glad everybody is here to support my little sister, I really appreciate that,” said her older brother.

“I’m Ke’viania’s little brother, I loved her very much and just thank you all for coming out and showing love to my big sister,” her younger brother told the crowd.

“We’ve been friends since we were four, we were in diapers and her mom would say we’re just alike,” said Iyanna Carroll, about her best friend.

Ke’viania had only attended Brush for one year, but her principal says she was already very active and making a difference in her school.

“She had an impact as you can tell, based on the outpouring support that’s out here tonight to support her and her family…one of a kind, outgoing, super kid, always smiling, always friendly, would say hello to everybody,” said Karl Williamson, Brush High School principal.

“Great kid, great smile, do anything, involved in the student council, cheerleading, basketball, always at all the social events, great little dancer, we used to have a lot of Fun in our cafeteria dances, she’s a good, all around smiling kid…we’re gonna miss her,” said Jennifer Heitman-Laszlo, head secretary of Memorial Junior High School.

Ke’viana’s family says the support from the community helps them deal with an unthinkable loss. They pray that whoever is responsible is caught.

“I’m just happy that they’re gonna miss her as much as I do,” said the girl’s mother, as balloons were released into the sky.

Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $2500 for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. East Cleveland police say detectives are following up on several decent leads.


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