Kansas City, MO (KSHB) — LaKeasha Taylor’s family and friends gathered Sunday with community leaders for a vigil to remember her and to call for an end to violence one week after she was shot and killed.
“She was a very free, bubbly spirit,” LaKeasha’s sister, Paris Taylor, said. “Very over the top. She’s a fashionista.”
Court records show Taylor, who went by “London,” was gunned down by teenager who was angry after she made a sarcastic comment about him not paying rent.
Taylor’s fiancee, Aaron Melbert, was right next to her when she was shot.
“She’s taught me so much, my baby girl,” Melbert said through sobs.
Taylor is among the most recent victims of a tragic trend. Twelve of the 21 people who have been murdered in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2019 have been under the age of 24.
As her vigil got underway, news of yet another homicide hit the news after Austin C. Williams was shot to death outside an apartment complex in the Northland.
One day earlier, shots were fired outside the funeral for 15-year-old homicide victim Anjanique Wright. Three men were charged Sunday in connection with that incident.
“This is pathetic, this is pitiful, and we’ve got to stand up,” Restoration Life Church Pastor Anthony Mondaine said at Taylor’s vigil.
Mondaine added that the solution is accountability.
“When the officer pulls us over, we can turn our cell phones on that officer and record everything they did wrong, but when it’s our friends and family we don’t put our phones on them,” Mondaine said. “When are we going to start putting our phones on the people that are next door to us?”
The takeaway from Mondaine and Damon Daniel of the AdHoc Group Against Crime was that it’s up to everyone to end the violence plaguing Kansas City.
“There was a wise man who once said. ‘Hope has two daughters: anger and courage. To be angry at the way things are, but to have the courage to do something about it,'” Daniel said.
Taylor’s family is raising money to pay for her burial .
Marlon Davis, 18, has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in Taylor’s death.
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