‘I really truly in my heart forgive them’: Mother, Monroe community pays tribute to 13-year-old killed in drive-by shooting
MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) - Loyalti Allah was sitting on a picnic table with other children waiting for DoorDash to deliver dinner Saturday evening when people from inside a car started shooting, according to family members.
Loyalti, who just turned 13 years old on Mother’s Day, was struck by a bullet outside of an apartment complex on Icemorelee Drive in Monroe around 8 p.m. She died from her injuries.
At that same picnic table, a memorial is growing for the girl who recently became a teenager.
On Sunday, 24 hours after Loyalti died, community memorials paid tribute to the young girl who loved to sing.
“I really truly in my heart forgive them,” said Yvette Allen, Loyalti’s mother. “Nobody deserves to have pain in their body.”
Police say Loyalti was sitting with friends on a picnic table when what is believed to be a black Ford Freestyle (SUV) drove by and someone inside the vehicle began shooting in the direction of the children before speeding away.
She was found with a gunshot wound before being taken to the hospital where the child died.
“I just want people to stop shooting over here on Icemorlee,” said Allen. “It’s a lot of babies out here, and one of my babies was one that got taken.”
Surrounding the picnic table, friends, children and community members hugged, placed balloons, flowers and stuffed animals.
Her shoe was even left behind for people to sign.
Allen said her daughter was just a happy little girl.
“My heart hurts right now,” Allen said. “She was very joyful. She was happy.”
Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard is pleading for witnesses to step up and give any information possible.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Monroe Police Department as soon as possible at (704) 282-4700.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the victim and we need the community to help identify and hold the shooter accountable for what they have done,” Gilliard said. “Someone knows who did this. This was an innocent child and we need people to be brave and step up so we can catch those responsible for this senseless act of violence.”
Police arrested 18-year-old Jamarius McClain, 19-year-old Darius Roland, 20-year-old Javon Robinson and 22-year-old Jamarius Crowder and charged them with first-degree murder.
Monroe police believe the four were looking to retaliate against another person as part of an ongoing feud.
“Yes, they shot my baby, but maybe in their heart, they didn’t mean to hit her,” Allen said. “So, I can’t fault them, I can’t hate towards them. They are babies as well.”
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