BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As Baltimore continues to struggle with violence, a young and powerful voice is pleading for the killings to stop — and people are listening.
More than 4 million people have watched 6-year-old Kelsey Hines’ video with a heartfelt message to criminals while wearing a “Don’t shoot, let me grow up!” t-shirt.
“I’m just going to be talking about all these killings up in here,” Kelsey said. “Why can’t you all let us live? Why can’t you let us grow up?”
“Why can’t you all let us have fun, when we want to play with our friends?” she asked. “Well we can’t, cause you be shooting out here — shooting kids, shooting babies, shooting mothers and fathers.”
“God did not create this world to shoot it all up!,” Kelsey added.
The 6-year-old continued for nearly five minutes. At one point, she gets emotional — nearly crying.
“I feel so worse that I’m about to cry,” Kelsey sniffled.
Her mom, Kelly Ellerbe, posted the message on Facebook, captioning it:
“Please y’all listen to my 6 yr old Kelsey Hines she’s crying out. She asked for me to record her and had her shirt on!” she wrote. “She put this same shirt on often. A child of God that want to make a change.”
WJZ spoke with Kelsey and her mother about the kindergartner’s message.
“I don’t even know how that came out of me. I was supposed to only pray, but then something just came through me,” Kelsey said.
Ellerbe told WJZ she records her daughter singing and praying all the time, but last week, as Kelsey made her way to church with her grandmother, they witnessed a crime scene.
“There was an incident that took place. A shooting, a triple shooting on East Lanvale and Barnes Street,” Ellerbe said.
When Kelsey got home, she told her mom to press record because she had something to say.
“There’s too many killings out here. And we don’t want people killing us. We don’t want to go to heaven yet. We do love the Lord, but when he’s ready for us to come to up to him — we’re ready — but we’re not ready right now.”