DETROIT (WWJ) – An anti-violence rally was held in Detroit on Thursday, following the senseless death of 3-year-old girl who was fatally shot inside her home, early Easter Sunday morning.
One of the organizers, Pastor Ray Anderson, said the event was meant to honor little Anaiya Montgomery, as Detroit police continue to search for her killers.
“We’re just praying for the mother, we’re praying for the family, and we’re praying for our community,” he told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Charlie Langton.
Police said a pair of gunmen burst into a house on Riverview Street, near Telegraph Road and McNichols, and opened fire at around 2 a.m. Sunday. They stopped to reload, police said, and then shot some more, killing Anaiya and wounding two of her relatives.
Anderson said the community should be more than concerned about what’s happening.
“I think that right now it’s a clear call for our community to really be outraged at the violence and the murder,” he said. “We talk about ‘black lives matter’ — and we get in an uproar when it’s white on black or law enforcement…but this is something: Probably 95 percent of the violence is black on black.”
Anderson, who is African-American, said this particular tragedy could have been prevented.
“Reports were saying that that house was allegedly a drug house. Well, back in the day when people really had love and concern for one another, that would’ve been reported, that type of activity ,” Anderson said. “So, if we help law enforcement, we could prevent some of these things before it happens, but we have to be concerned enough.”
“We have to take control of our community,” he added. “We have to love ourselves enough to be proactive…I know we can. We just need to be encouraged, we can’t be afraid anymore. We have to be willing to go out here and risk our lives for the next generation.”
Police at one point had two “persons of interest” in custody and were looking for a third in connection with Anaiya’s murder, but no charges have yet been brought in the case. As of Thursday, police were still actively investigating.
Meantime, a Gofundme page was raising funds for the child’s funeral.