MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Justice for Laylah. Mourners held a memorial Wednesday night for a Memphis toddler killed a year ago in an unsolved road rage incident.
The 2-year-old was shot in the head on June 11, 2017 and passed away June 13. No one's been arrested for her murder, and organizers of her vigil want to know how anyone could protect a baby killer.
"Memphis! Where are you?" Danielle Jones shouted at the vigil. "Where are your minds and where are your hearts?"
Jones said she's heartbroken no one came to Laylah Washington's vigil, which was publicized on social media and in the news. Laylah's family is still too grief stricken to talk publicly about her death.
"I'm here to stand in for her mom," said Jones, "because her mom and her brothers are suffering. Her dad is suffering. And they need support. Where are the Stop The Violence groups? Where are the people who shut the bridge down? This is a 2-year-old baby, not a gang banger."
Even more heartbreaking for Jones, is the fact that Laylah's murder remains unsolved.
"To the person who did it," she said, "you're a coward. How can you live with yourself? This baby's life was taken so brutally. She suffered for three days."
"It just shows our city is destructive," said Trina Parker. "Memphis is self-destructive."
Parker lost her Goddaughter, 18-year-old Myneisha Johnson, in a senseless shooting on Beale Street in 2016. The accused gunman was aiming for someone else when his bullet hit Johnson. The teenager was a week away from graduation at Booker T. Washington High School and had a 1-year-old child. Parker came to Laylah's vigil to show support and push for justice in the case.
"The few people that are willing to fight," said Parker, "we're not going to give up and we're not going to stop."
Memphis Police Colonel Marcus Worthy and several of his officers showed up for the vigil. Laylah was killed in their precinct.
Red light cameras captured the suspect's dark-colored car following Layla's mother at Winchester and Kirby right before the shooting. Minutes earlier in a nearby parking lot, she'd told the young men to slow it down because there were children in the area.
Despite several tips over the last year, no one's come forward to identify the gunman who took Laylah's life.
"Years ago," said Col. Worthy, "anytime a child got hurt there was a no-holds barred approach to the crime. Well now, it seems like they just don't care. And when you have something like a little kid getting killed, it sticks with you."
Col. Worthy promised MPD is still on the case, still hunting for clues. He and the officers joined hands with Jones, Parker and Pastor Andre Davis of Path Ministries Christian Church to say a prayer for Laylah. The group then released pink, black, and white balloons, mixed with Mickey Mouse balloons, because Laylah loved Mickey, according to Jones.
"Hold on, hold on," Parker said to a tearful Jones as she hugged her. "God ain't through yet. They didn't get away, they just got by. God will get them. And if anyone knows anything, they need to come forward. This child deserves justice."
There's a $20,000 Crime Stoppers reward in the case. If you know anything about the shooting of Laylah Washington in Hickory Hill on June 11, 2017, call 901-528-CASH.