‘I’m going to miss her so much’
Family mourns slain teen with candlelight vigil, two teens charged in slaying
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/10/2019 (1320 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Candles flickered in the night and the smell of burnt sage filled the air as mourners huddled in the cold outside 152 Kinver Ave. Tuesday, where days before a teenage girl was stabbed to death at a house party.
The family of Jakira Mary Iris Eastman-Moore, 14, who was killed Saturday night when a Halloween party turned violent, gathered on the front lawn of the home where their loved one was fatally attacked.
The sound of traditional Indigenous drumming pulsed through the darkness as Jakira’s mother — surrounded by family, friends and community organizers — sobbed uncontrollably and clutched a photo of her daughter tight to her chest.
Jakira’s aunt, Laureen Sanderson, who served as a family spokeswoman, said the loss will always haunt them.
“She was my niece, a nice little girl. Her life didn’t need to be taken at such a young age. I love her so much. I’m going to miss her so much,” Sanderson said through tears, her voice shaking with emotion.
“She was happy, outgoing, she always wanted to come home at Powwow time. She was a happy little girl. We really care, that’s why we’re out here for her.”
Earlier Tuesday, the Winnipeg Police Service announced it charged two teenagers with the slaying: a 16-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman. The pair was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder Monday. They remain in custody.
A second woman was also attacked during the incident. An 18-year-old — whose mother is a member of the Bear Clan Patrol — was also stabbed. She was taken to hospital in critical condition, but has since been upgraded to stable.
The Free Press has learned a teenage girl threw a Halloween party for some friends at her father’s home at 152 Kinver Ave. Saturday. What began as a small gathering soon got out of hand with roughly 20 people present.
Lucy Pirrie, who lives next door, said she was told by eyewitnesses that following an argument, someone sprayed mace at the party, and in the ensuing commotion, two people were stabbed.
It was one of three incidents that resulted in spilled blood during a deadly, violence-filled weekend in Winnipeg.
Two men were found dead in a double homicide in the area of Ross Avenue and Isabel Street early Sunday. Then four people — including an infant under the age of two — were shot on the 400 block of Flora Avenue Sunday afternoon. All four are expected to survive.
Alaya Mcivor, a community organizer, said it’s disheartening how often they have to arrange candlelight vigils for families mourning the loss of yet another Indigenous woman or girl.
“I’ve seen the hurt and the pain from the family that has been recently impacted by this act of violence,” said Mcivor, who has also lost a loved one to violence.
“If we see family members hurting when it comes to this issue, we reach out and we extend that help to them. One of the things they wanted to do is have a candlelight vigil.”
Jakira’s death, alongside the other two homicides on the weekend, marks Winnipeg’s 34th, 35th and 36th slayings of 2019. The city is on pace to break its record for the most homicides recorded in a calendar year.
The highest homicide total ever in Winnipeg came in 2011 with 41. That year, the 36th homicide wasn’t registered until Dec. 3.
Mcivor said Winnipeggers, and Manitobans more generally, need to understand that when an Indigenous woman or girl loses her life in an act of violence, it has consequences that ripple out beyond the immediate family.
“It’s not just a family issue, it’s a community issue, when it comes to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and two-spirits. It’s beautiful how our community consistently comes together and actions things like this,” Mcivor said.
“All we can do is wrap this family in love throughout the duration of this process.”
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.
Updated on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 10:17 PM CDT: Adds photos