The death of five-month old Aavielle Wakefield last Thursday (Oct. 1) in Cleveland counts as the third death of child in a drive-by shooting in the city. During a press conference updating the community on the tragic incident, police chief Calvin Williams could not contain his emotions while discussing the unfortunate trend. Vowing to bring justice to the family of the slain girl, Williams assured the press that his team was working around the clock to solve the crime.
“Another innocent child in our city has been taken from us, basically by thugs in the street who want to carry out this vendetta against each other,” he said. “Our innocent babies get caught in the crossfire.”
Aavielle was shot in the chest while in a car with her grandmother and sister. The bullets reportedly came from a nearby apartment building, and were not aimed at the family. After the baby was shot, she was placed on the hood of the car where her family attempted to keep her alive. Chief Williams expressed that he was fed up with the tragic nature of stories such as Aavielle’s.
“It’s enough. Enough is enough,” Williams continued. “When are we going to stop counting babies killed out there?”
Following Aavielle’s death, Clevelan Cavaliers star LeBron James took to social media in dismay, urging the home city of his NBA team to stop the violence. He also held an interview following his practice on Friday (Oct. 2) to make a plea for stricter gun control laws.
“Four kids under the age of five or six years old have been shot and killed or very badly injured [in Cleveland],” he told The Associated Press. “There’s no room for that. There’s no room for guns, first of all, but then for violence toward kids or anybody. I see the news go across my phone and I’m sitting there in front of my three kids, so it automatically just hit me. It’s not just in Cleveland, it’s the whole nation that goes through this as well. We all hurt from it.”
Watch Police Chief Calvin Williams speak on the death of baby Aavielle below: