Loved ones, neighbors grieve over 11-year-old killed by stray bullet

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 10, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 10 at 7:42 PM

Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News

JEFFERSON PARISH, La.-- A growing memorial of stuffed animals sits one floor below the apartment where 11-year-old Keian Ester was shot in the head.

A stray bullet came through the wall of an apartment in unincorporated Westwego, as Keian played inside Friday night.

It's a scene Tanika Murdock can not forget.

"He was a child," she said. "He didn't ask to go like that -- and it's just senseless."

As he had done a number of times before, Keian was visiting Murdock and her family that night. She had stepped outside for a few minutes and then she heard shots outside. Murdock said she ran back into the apartment, carrying her 3-year-old son, and found 11-year-old Keian bleeding on the floor.

"It's just been hard. Everyday, it seems like it's just getting harder. It's not getting no better," Murdock said. "Every day, I close my eyes, I just see Keian laying on that floor and it's just getting worse."

Neighbors described a chaotic scene, as emergency personnel took the young boy away. He was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

"It was hysterical over there," said Samuel Blair, who heard the shots. "A lot of people were screaming, moaning, crying. It was really hard to believe."

Keian died on Saturday -- the same day a gun buy-back program took place in Jefferson Parish. In a chilling similarity, the gun buy back was held in honor of another child in Jefferson Parish who was killed by a stray bullet: 7-year-old Paige DeJean, who died two years ago when a stray bullet struck her as she slept at home.

Now, people who live near Friday's shooting said they no longer feel safe.

"I'm really ready to move," Blair said. "I hate to move from here to here, due to the violence in our city, but I've got to protect my kids."

Tanika Murdock said she plans to move as well, because she can't go on living in the apartment after Keian's death.

"It felt horrible to be there," she said.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said they are looking at a person of interest in the case, but would not release any other details. In the meantime, a memorial fund as been set up for Keian Ester at Capital One Bank. Funeral arrangements are pending.

 

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