Reporting Meghan McCorkell
CECIL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Celebratory gunfire stole the life of a 10-year-old girl in Cecil County. Now her family is fighting to make sure it doesn’t happen to another child.
Meghan McCorkell has more on their push for tighter laws.
That little girl was outside with her family celebrating the start of the new year when she was hit by a bullet that fell from the sky.
“Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day and I should be hugging my daughter instead of putting stuff on her grave,” said Crystal Blackburn.
Blackburn is facing a parent’s worst nightmare. Her 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah Boyer was watching fireworks as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s when she suddenly fell lifeless in the yard.
“She was just limp and she was turning blue and we started CPR right here in the living room,” Blackburn said.
Aaliyah was rushed to the hospital, where doctors found a bullet lodged in her brain stem. Police say someone had fired it into the air. It came down and hit the little girl. She died days later.
“You would never expect for anyone’s child to go out in the yard…and not come back,” said Aaliyah’s aunt, Ashleigh Rice.
Police are still looking for whomever fired the gun. Investigators say the bullet that killed Aaliyah may have been fired from as far as a mile and a half away.
Now the family has started a petition for Aaliyah’s Law, which calls for a ban on celebratory gunfire and harsher penalties for anyone caught doing it.
“Maybe it will spread the word a little bit more and make it safer for our kids,” Rice said.
Blackburn hopes the law could save lives.
“I would never want any parent to feel the pain I feel,” she said.
It’s a pain that won’t end until she knows who pulled the trigger.
The family is now trying to collect money so they can offer a reward in Aaliyah’s case. For more information or to donate, click here.