Virginia Beach, Virginia (Wavy) – Over the past month, the Virginia Beach Police Chief said there were only two unsolved murders in 2021.
One of them concerned the June 14 shooting Damion Rodriguez-Kirkland, 18, near Lake Edward. Another was Deschaila HarrisThe 28-year-old, who was shot dead on March 26, according to police, was accidentally shot on 19th Street by the Virginia Beach Ocean. She was killed during a chaotic night in which a total of 11 people were shot and a car hit an officer.
On Tuesday, DeShayla’s mother Harris defended part of her family and friends and asked the Virginia Beach City Council to help her set up a permanent memorial for her daughter near the crime scene.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. To get up every day and know that my child will not return home, ”Elisheba Harris said, crying.
The Harris family has openly called for justice and also criticized the Virginia Beach Police Department during the investigation, saying she often feels “forgotten.”
She says it’s a temporary memorial near the intersection of 19th Street and Pacific Avenue and the “Dollar Tree Flowers” where she goes to remember her daughter.
“When I go there, I smile. It relieves some of the pain, ”said Elisha Harris. “I’m asking Virginia Beach to help me … just support would be great for me.”
However, council member Sabrina Wooten, who asked for time at a city council seminar to discuss a more permanent memorial, suggested installing a plaque.
“That night when she went to Virginia Beach, she was celebrating her new career as a beautician,” Wooten said. “She was here in Virginia Beach to celebrate her achievement as a young professional, and she was killed.”
Minister Gary McCall, who was standing next to DeShaila’s mother, noted that DeShaila was “well known”. The Norfolk native was a star on “Bad Girls Club“reality show.
However, after the remarks of Elisha Harris, Wooten and McCollum, there was no discussion of the memorial. Most likely, Mayor Bobby Dyer expressed a different idea.
After a series of meetings regarding community violence with six other Hampton Rows mayors, the idea arose to create a task force to combat youth violence. Dyer said he had asked other mayors if they would consider calling it the DeShayla Harris 757 Youth Violence Task Force.
“If we could name a situation where an innocent passerby lost his life, it would show that the region is serious,” Dyer said. “We can’t do it ourselves – it has to be regional, and it has to become part of a culture that exists that we’re not going to tolerate.”
Elisha Harris nodded in agreement.
“I am very happy and glad that the city has come up with something for us, and the idea of the mayors was great, and I am so grateful that something is happening,” said Elisha Harris.
Wooten said she also plans to put forward a resolution allocating money for a permanent memorial.