NEW ORLEANS -- Family and friends gathered in Central City on Wednesday night to mark the one-year anniversary of a quintuple shooting.
Two innocent bystanders lost their lives: A little girl and mother of three.
'For her to turn the corner and lose her life -- that could have been anybody turning that corner, but it was my sister. It hurt like hell. It hurt,' said Laura Pierce.
The neutral ground, wet with rain, is where a crowd fittingly marched to the street corner where a stray bullet ended Shawanna 'Nonnie' Pierce's life. On Wednesday, a memorial was erected where the 33-year-old crashed her car a year ago.
Pierce was one of five people hit by bullets when gunfire erupted in the 1200 block of Simon Bolivar Boulevard. 5-year-old Briana Allen was also killed.
Police say gunmen opened fire on guests at a child's birthday party. Pierce's mother and sister are still visibly shaken by her tragic death. They thanked the community for its support.
'We have been working with the Pierce family and they are wonderful family with love and support, and they need the continued support of the community,' said Silence is Violence Executive Director Tamara Jackson.
'I commend the New Orleans Police Department for catching the killers who killed my sister. I really do. They did their job throughout the year,' said Pierce.
According to a racketeering indictment, the newly formed multi-agency gang unit would eventually arrest three shooters and a fourth person believed to be the getaway driver, along with a handful of others charged with lying to investigators.
'We put that 110-ers group away. Some of those associates were wanted for this crime - the one we're here for today - and I think there's more to come relatively soon,' said NOPD Sixth District Lt. Frank Young.
A year after that tragic shooting, a community homage remembers those taken suddenly and senselessly.
'We deal with this every day. My mother cries every day because she shouldn't have buried her daughter,' Pierce said.