Family identifies 9-year-old girl shot, killed at Richmond cookout

Markiya Dickson was described as fiesty, very affectionate and caring

RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond police say a girl was fatally shot and a boy was wounded during a cookout in a public park on the city's south side.

News outlets are reporting that officers were called to Carter Jones Park at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, and two juveniles were taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The girl died.

Family members identified the 9-year-old girl as Markiya Simone Dickson, according to NBC12.

Her mother, Ciara Dickson, described Markiya to the Richmond NBC affiliate as “fiesty” and very affectionate and caring.

“She was my everything," Ciara Dickson said to NBC12. “A part of my heart is missing. I leave out of the house with three kids, and I come back with two. This is not right. Don’t nobody understand this hurt.”

Witnesses said the girl was hit while she was on a pony ride.

“We weren’t even nowhere near the basketball court,” said her father, Mark Whitfield, to NBC12. “That just shows you bullets have no names on them. They just flying at people. So ignorant.”

“I ran through the bullets and everything to find my baby on the ground bleeding,” Whitfield said. “She always thought about everybody else. She wasn’t but 9. I always knew my baby was going to be something special. Now that’s gone."

Richmond Police spokesman James Mercante said the park was crowded at the time, so they're hopeful witnesses will share information.