The 10-year-old girl who was shot and killed last night in Youngstown, Ohio has been identified. The little girl has been identified as Persayus Chanell Davis, a little girl who was cherished and loved by more than just her biological family but an adoptive and extended family as well.
Our original story had not identified the youngest victim in last night's shooting but she was one of two people killed in two shootings that are possibly linked.
Shortly after two o'clock this morning a house where Davis was staying was shot at, killing Davis and wounding three others inside.
Less than ten minutes later police responded to a crash on South Avenue and Palmer Avenue where a 40-year-old man, identified as Michael Callahan, was found dead with gunshot wounds. Another person in the vehicle was also shot and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The woman who first identified herself as Davis' adoptive mother made a live video calling for peace and no retaliation. Davis' biological mother, Kristina May, spoke with WFMJ today saying "she's been crying all day and just wants answers" to why her child was killed.
May said she doesn't know what was behind the violence, but said she has nine children and that she'd never be a part of anything that could put them in danger.
In a press conference the mayor of Youngstown, Jamael Tito Brown, called today one of "the darkest days" he's had to serve as leader of the city. He also announced that there will be a $10,000 reward for information on this case.
Brown and Police Chief Carl Davis were visibly upset and angry during the press conference and it appeared that Brown had been crying before he spoke. He said any death is tragic but to lose a 10-year-old to violence “makes my heart ache right now.”
“Being a father, I can’t imagine,” a somber Brown said. “Tomorrow morning my son’s heading to school. I can’t imagine him not going to school.”
Brown said the child was caught up in a feud between adults and it took her life.
“This has to stop,” Brown said. “We’re not solving anything. Now our babies — our babies — are victims of adult feuds. Street justice has proven not to be an answer. Put down the guns.”
Brown implored anyone who has information to go to police. He said there he is certain there are people who know what happened, “and don’t tell me you don’t know,” he added.
“If you don’t do it for me, do it for this 10-year-old child who lost her life,” Brown said.
This city is one of many that has been plagued by violence over the past year with more than a dozen people murdered by gun violence this year. Seven of the city’s homicide victims this year are 19 or younger. Persayus Davis is the youngest victim this year. Three other victims were 19, one was 18, one was 17 and another 16.
Police Chief Davis has said that he believes that Persayus' and Callahan's murders are linked but has not disclosed how. It is believed that the intended target was one of the other, unidentified men, who was shot in the home with Persayus Davis.
This was heart breaking news to wake up to in a city that I love.