Friday afternoon, 3-year-old McKenzie Elliot was hanging out on the porch of a house in Waverly. She was waiting for her dad to take her swimming when a brief gun battle erupted down the street, and a stray bullet struck and killed the toddler. Two others were injured, but it’s McKenzie whose story has broken hearts all over Baltimore– and the world.
McKenzie’s parents describe her as “vibrant, with energy out of this world.” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake described her death as a “senseless and outrageous act of cowardice,” and offered a $2,000 reward for anyone providing information about the crime.
SHE HAS A NAME: 3 year old McKenzie Elliot was shot and killed by a stray bullet in Baltimore on Friday night. PLS RT pic.twitter.com/aHM8vaG90D
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) August 3, 2014
McKenzie’s death has sparked sadness and outrage all across Baltimore, and has made the news as far away as the UK. The Baltimore Police Department has responded by stepping up patrols and insisting that they’ll find the person whose stray bullet hit the toddler–but as a response to this tragedy, I have to admit that feels kind of weak. Capturing one guy isn’t going to ensure that no more little kids get shot in Baltimore; the problem is one of systemic violence, and the people who get caught in the crossfire.
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