TULSA, Okla. — Neighbor of the family whose 6-year-old was severely injured in a drive-by shooting on Sunday said her family loves the little girl very much.
Sevoya and her daughter are wishing the 6-year-old a speedy recovery as they recount how Sevoya lost her mother in a similar accident.
“It hit a trigger for me it,” Sevoya said. “It kind of set me back because this is how I lost my mom.”
She was only an infant when her mother’s life was taken so she can empathize with her neighbors. She said she’s sad her daughter Desire has to feel this pain for her friend.
“It’s not right. it’s just horrible,” she said. “That baby was in her home, in the comfortability of her home.”
Despite the shooting, Sevoya said this type of crime is rare in their neighborhood, but now she doesn’t feel safe allowing her daughter to play outside.
“We use to just race up and down the street, ride our scooters and bikes and everything,” Desire said. “We were at church and my dad sent the message and said that my friend over there got shot in the chest.”
Sevoya said she was shocked to hear the alleged shooter was only 17-years-old, but she wants justice for the victim.
“Thank god this baby is pulling through, but my tragedy didn’t end the same way,” she said. “For ya’ll to be out here, willy nilly shooting, thinking you’re [going to] earn something, you’re not. I hope ya’ll get what ya’ll deserve.”
Sevoya said she is grateful to Tulsa Police for their diligent work and happy the two suspects are off the streets.
Clinical director with Tulsa Youth Services Craig Henderson said they work closely with juvenile affairs and they unfortunately often see kids go down the wrong path.
“I think it really hits home, not only the alleged perpetrator, but the victim are under the age of 18 and young people themselves,” he said.
Henderson said kids without present parents will find other role models to look up to, and sometimes those leaders are negative.
A recent study shows that kids said idol time is a reason for committing crime, so filling a child’s time with positive things is very important, Henderson continued.
“We, on a weekly basis, are hearing from young people who are affiliated with gangs or have access to guns,” Henderson said. “Jobs, sports, music, community service, things like that, anything that could take their time up in a positive way could keep young people out of gangs and keep from committing crimes.”
Desire said she just hopes her friend comes home.
“I love you so much. Stay strong. Be safe. Try your best to stay … we love you,” she pleaded.
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