• Family, friends disappointed by turnout at ceremony for 2-year-old killed in drive-by shooting

    By: Kristin Leigh

    Updated:

    Wednesday marked one year to the day since a 2-year-old girl was killed following a drive-by shooting in Memphis.

    PHOTOS: Justice for Laylah - One year since two-year-old killed in drive-by, still no arrests 

    In the story that made national headlines, Laylah Washington was shot and killed in an incident sparked by road rage. 

    Friends and family held a ceremony of releasing balloons in memory of Washington Wednesday, but the turnout was not at all what they expected.

    Danielle Jones organized the balloon release close to the scene of the shooting, but less than a dozen people attended.  

    RELATED: Video shows 2-year-old shooting victim in hospital, family explains why 

    "Memphis, where are you?" Jones said. "Where's your minds and where's your hearts? How dare y'all not come out and support a baby."


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    Three of the people in the small crowd were Memphis police officers who are still searching for Washington’s killer.

    "Here's a child that won't grow up," Colonel Marcus Worthy said, on behalf of MPD. "You have other individuals who don't deserve to be here, like the one that shot her."

    The toddler was killed near the intersection of Winchester Road and Kirby Parkway. 

    Wednesday's balloon release was held in the same location. 

    Jones said Washington’s mother chose not to attend, citing frustration with Memphians for their response to the tragedy. 

    "She told me, 'Danielle, no one's going to come out,'" Jones told FOX13. "The only people who's going to come out is the news."

    The handful of loved ones and the three police officers gathered in a circle in prayer. 

    Trina Parker was among them. She's friends with Jones, and an advocate for children in Memphis. 

    "This child deserves to rest in peace," Parker said. "Her life has already been taken. Shouldn't she be allowed to lay and rest in peace?" 

    Everyone attendance had a similar message for the gunman. 

    "To the person that did it," Jones said, "You're a coward."

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