Family tries to cope with murder of teen on New Year's Day

Family tries to cope with murder of teen on New Year's Day

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Family members are dealing with the loss of an 18-year-old just hours into the new year.

Kiara Tatum was shot and killed Sunday night after two men in a car opened fire on a crowd of people. Family members said Kiara was an innocent bystander.

"They didn't have to take my baby," Kiara's mother, Latoya Tatum, said.

Tatum is the first homicide victim in the city of Memphis in 2017, following the deadliest year on record for the city.

"My children are supposed to be burying me; I'm not supposed to be burying her," Tatum said.

Police are still working to find a motive after the shooting, which happened on Danville Road.

"It hurts for a mother to get a call that her daughter has been shot," Tatum said.

Kiara was a graduate of Sheffield High School in 2016.

"She was a straight A student," her sister Alexis Tatum said. "She didn't deserve this."

Kiara was a freshman at LeMoyne-Owen College with dreams of being a nurse. Her friends said she had no enemies.

"She was a lovable person," friend Dallas Davis said. "You can't help but love her and want her around; she was that kind of person."

Kiara's mother must now plan a funeral. She hopes she can get some answers and find justice as the men accused of killing her daughter are on the run.

"We need closure; I need closure."

Loved ones held a vigil for Kiara on Monday night. They hugged, held candles, and grieved together.

"I don't know how to feel," Kiara's aunt Ebony Simmons said. "They took her life. She was laying right there in the grass."

If you know where the suspects may be, call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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