Mother mourns 'Angel' killed in drive-by shooting - KCTV5 News

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Mother mourns 'Angel' killed in drive-by shooting

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Grady Reid/KCTV5 Grady Reid/KCTV5
Grad Reid/KCTV5 Grad Reid/KCTV5
Angel Hooper, 6, was killed in an apparent drive-by Friday. Angel Hooper, 6, was killed in an apparent drive-by Friday.
Angel Hooper Angel Hooper
A rally was held Saturday to show support for Angel's family and demand a stop to gun violence. (Grady Reid/KCTV) A rally was held Saturday to show support for Angel's family and demand a stop to gun violence. (Grady Reid/KCTV)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Angel Hooper, 6, was fatally shot outside a convenience store in south Kansas City, and her heartbroken mother pleaded for the killer to be caught.

"Her name, Angel, it really fit her. She was just so sweet. She loved to sing and dance,” said Charity Guinn, Angel's mother, as she held back tears Saturday.

Those who knew the little girl, and even strangers, gathered Saturday outside the gas station where Angel was hit by a bullet Friday night as she and her father were buying snacks, including fulfilling Angel's wish for bubble gum. Signs were held up urging an end to gun violence in Kansas City.

The shooting was reported about 7:15 p.m. Friday at the 7-Eleven store at 107th Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard.

A vehicle drove by and someone inside fired shots at the store, Police Chief Darryl Forte said. In addition to the little girl and her father, others were in the parking lot.

"Before he could grab her and take her to the ground, she was already on the ground. She passed away," her mother said.

The girl was rushed to the hospital but she died from there injuries.

Forte personally asked those responsible to turn themselves in.

"Tragic at any age," he said.

Police have not said whether anyone at the convenience store was the intended target.

“I just feel like none of this is real. She took the bullet for someone else and now she's not here,” Guinn said.

Protestors joined the grieving mother to show their support and ask for a witness to come forward.

“It really means a lot,” Guinn said. "I don't know any of these people. It really means a lot."

They also gathered to demand an end to gun violence in Kansas City.

“They get a kick out of just going around killing people for no reason,” said Marie Guinn, Angel's grandmother.

There have been numerous reports of crime over the years at the store and corner, including robberies and fatal shootings.

Forte went to the scene Friday night. He also issued a personal message to those responsible via his Twitter account.

"Please turn yourself in. I know you have a conscience. I don't believe the (girl) was the intended victim," he wrote.

The media officer at the scene was visibly angry about the crime.

“You know what, probably if they had one (a conscience), they wouldn't be doing this in the first place, but somebody knows it, somebody knows what happened, probably more than the people involved, so maybe they have one (a conscience) and can let us know,” Capt. Tye Grant said. "Obviously it's a tragedy. I don't know what else to say other than that. It's a reminder of the ridiculous people we have to work with sometimes.”

Others were more sad than angry, including a mother whose 7-year-old was at the convenience store when the shooting happened.

“We are going to keep her in our prayers. I'm just grateful it wasn't my daughter, and I just feel so bad for whoever's daughter it was,” said Mistie Wheeler, of Belton, MO.

Her family said Angel was a smart, active child who was in the gifted program at her school.

“She loved to read books, she loved math, she loved everything,” Charity Guinn said, adding that Angel's favorite books were the Berenstain Bears series.

Now the grieving family prays that whoever killed the young girl will face justice.

“Please don't keep quiet. I lost my child to a senseless crime. It's not fair, it's really not fair,” Charity Guinn said. "She took the bullet for someone else. My baby's no longer here."

In a written statement, Kansas City Mayor Sly James pushed for a change in gun violence.

“The senseless drive-by shooting last night that led to the death of a six-year-old girl is another reason why we must get serious about gun violence. Criminals are no longer just killing each other - they are killing our children. This nonsense must end. I have full confidence in the professionals at KCPD, and in the individuals of our community, to find the perpetrator and bring him or her to justice. In the meantime, my thoughts are with the family of precious Angel, who lost her life entirely too soon. She and Damiah White,a three-year-old killed by gun violence in August of 2013, are deserving of a legacy that leads to systemic change in our neighborhoods. If this latest death of one of Kansas City's children doesn't make us think seriously about changing our gun culture then I'm not sure what will.”

The protestors at the gas station said they'll be out there every day until police solve Angel's murder.

Police say they are working some leads, but don't have much information. They encourage anyone who can help to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS. The call is anonymous and can bring a possible reward.

A page has been set up to help the family pay for funeral expenses. Click here to donate.

Adults and children gathered Sunday night at Sycamore Park to again call for an end to gun violence in Kansas City. More than $2,000 has been raised to help the family cover expenses including funeral costs. The family remains focused on finding Angel's killer.

KCTV5's Brix Fowler and Grady Reid contributed to this report. 

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