Family returns to site of accident to celebrate Markel Girty's birthday

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va.- - A Roanoke family wants answers. Markel Girty was weeks away from celebrating his 24th birthday when he was gunned down. It's been more than a month since the shooting and the case is still unsolved.

His cousin started a birthday celebration for Girty with a prayer. Victor Basham prayed for healing and strength for his family during this difficult time.

"If it wasn't for our faith, we wouldn't make it right now," said Basham. 

Markel Girty was a brother, cousin, son and friend and those closest to him are coming together to celebrate his 24th birthday Tuesday by releasing a dozen balloons in the open air. 
"We're just out here to show people we love the Lord and we loved our cousin and to draw people out here to give us information if possible," said Basham. 

His mother says this is one of the most difficult days they're facing as a family.     

"The laughter and joking. His birthday was always a fun thing," said Amy Girty. 

The investigation revealed Girty was shot on 29th Street Northwest and then drove his car away from the area. Police say those injuries caused a crash with another car at 24th Street and Salem Turnpike Northwest.

His mother says it's important to come back to the scene on his birthday. 

"This was his last stop. And if this was as close as I can get to him, this is where I wanted to be,"

To make sure this doesn't happen to someone else's child or loved one, Amy Girty is getting involved with the Roanoke chapter of the Moms Demand Action. 

"We have to find some solution and the track that were on now is not getting better, it's getting worse," said Girty.

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