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Funeral arrangements scheduled for Nykayla Strawder

By WJZ Staff

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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Funeral arrangements have been made for Nykayla Strawder, the 15-year-old Baltimore girl fatally shot on her Edmondson Village porch over the weekend.

A viewing is set for next Thursday at Wylie Funeral Home. It will be followed by a funeral the next morning at True Christian Faith Temple, according to a listing on the funeral home’s website.

Baltimore police said a 9-year-old neighbor shot Strawder in the head Saturday night, in what they’re treating as an accidental shooting, after somehow getting access to a relative’s handgun.

The tragic shooting has left the teen’s family devastated as they search for answers and justice.

“I can’t sleep. I have bags under my eyes,” Nykayla’s mother, Nykerah, told WJZ on Wednesday. “No matter how many times I try to close my eyes, I see her.”

Under a new state law, the child cannot be charged due to his young age. But an adult could face charges if authorities determine the weapon was not properly secured.

Nykerah Strawder does not believe her daughter’s shooting was accidental, citing a past dispute involving her son and the 9-year-old boy at a basketball game.

Police said the weapon belonged to a relative of the child’s who works as a security guard. It is unclear where the weapon was stored before the shooting, or how the child got access.

“This is a child who was able to get a Glock and shoot my baby right in the head on her porch,” Strawder said. “If I’m a security officer and I had a child, I would check that box every day.”

“My soul, my heart knows this is not right,” she added. “This was no accident.”

Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed juvenile justice reform legislation that shields children under the age of 13 from criminal charges.

In Maryland, it is a misdemeanor if an adult leaves a gun in a location that they knew would be accessible to a minor, even if it results in someone’s injury or death.

Mayor Brandon Scott, who called the incident “unfortunate” and a “tragedy,” told WJZ that Nykayla’s death was preventable.

“If this gun was properly secured, she would be alive,” the mayor said. “A mother and father wouldn’t be preparing to bury their own child.”

Nykerah Strawder said she won’t rest until she gets justice, no matter how long it takes.

“I will get justice for her if it takes me until the end of my lifetime,” she said. “Nykayla did not deserve that. She did not deserve to be taken away from her family.”

For now, the family is mourning the loss of a girl who loved french fries, whose favorite color was purple, and who dreamt of studying design in college when she graduated.

“I want people to know that she had dreams,” Strawder said. “She had big dreams. She wanted to move out of state, so she could have a better life. She was my everything.”

Nykayla’s viewing is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug 18 at Wylie Funeral Home. Her funeral will be held on Friday, Aug. 19 at True Christian Faith Temple.

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