Prayer walk held 6 days after Richmond girl’s slaying in park

RICHMOND, Va. -- Six days after a child was killed in a shooting at a Richmond park, a community is still trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

Dozens of people marched through the streets of Richmond Saturday in the Cover Our City Prayer Walk organized by  the Tower Ministries Church.

The walk aimed at bringing together churches, community leaders, and police officers in hopes to pray for the Richmond community.

And while leaders said the event was not held specifically to honor 9-year-old Markiya Dickson, she was certainly on their minds.

"As we begin to pray, we’re not just praying, we are lifting up a standard in our community and we do that through decree,” one organizer said. “And one of our decrees is that gun violence is unacceptable and homicide is unacceptable.”

Markiya Dickson

Markiya Dickson

Detectives charged with finding the person who killed the nine-year-old had strong words Friday afternoon for the people who know who pulled the trigger.

"I'm a little surprised that an eyewitness to a nine-year-old getting murdered has not come forward at this point," Richmond Police Major Crimes Sgt. Michael Mocello said. "I'm surprised that there are people out there who know what happened and have that information and for whatever reason you're holding it."

Mocello also released some very basic descriptions of three people believed to be involved in her death:

Suspect 1: A young black male who was seen with no shirt on and wearing a white towel or T-shirt on his head. He is believed to have braids that are shoulder length.

Suspect 2: A young black male with a medium build and short cropped hair. He was seen wearing blue shirt and grey or dark colored pants.

Suspect 3: A young black male wearing dark clothing.

Police believe the three were involved in a fight near the basketball courts and skate park at Carter Jones Park in South Richmond Sunday. More than 12 gunshots were fired during that fight, Sgt. Mocello said. One of those bullet struck an 11-year-old boy. Another bullet killed Markiya.

"I need the people who know about this case, the people who saw what happened, the people who know these offenders' names -- and I know you're out there -- to do the right thing now, to come forward to help me, to help the family," Mocello said.

Two off-duty police officers who were working an event at the park at the time of the shooting were not positioned near where the shooting occurred.

"We don't have a direct eyewitness... I need someone who actually saw it," Mocello said. "You're going to be able to solve and case and bring closure to two families."

"She was my everything. A part of my heart is missing," Markiya's mother Ciara said. "I leave the house with three kids and I come back with two. This is not right."

Anyone with photos, video, or information about the identities of these men are asked to email Major Crimes Detective Benjamin Neifeld or call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

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