BALTIMORE — For the mother of 15-year-old Nykayla Strawder, the grief is unbearable.
“I can’t sleep. I have bags under my eyes,” Nykerah Strawder said in a new interview with WJZ. “No matter how many times I try to close my eyes, I see her.”
She is still demanding justice after police say a 9-year-old boy somehow gained access to a relative’s gun and shot Nykayla on her front porch.
“Put the guns away! Put them up! Hide them so your kids don’t get it,” Strawder said.
While an adult can face a misdemeanor charge for leaving a gun accessible to a minor, the child cannot be charged because of juvenile justice reforms that passed the General Assembly earlier this year.
Keisha Hogan, whose juvenile son was locked up for almost 900 days, testified in favor of the law that prohibits any child under age 10 from being criminally charged.
“Me going through this situation decimated me and changed me for life,” Hogan told lawmakers through tears in March. “I lost time that I will never get back.”
Right now, Nykayla’s family still does not know what justice will look like for them. “I want this to never stop until somebody is charged,” her mom said.
She joins so many others whose children have been shot and killed this year.
In January, 16-year-old Desmond Canada and 17-year-old Bernard Thomas lost their lives in the same Edmondson Village community.
In March, 15-year-old Braylon Gannon was ambushed in an alley about a five-minute drive away.
In May, 17-year-old Neal Mack was killed at the Inner Harbor.
And 17-year-old Jasmine Brunson, Jr., was gunned down following his junior prom.