“She means so much.” Candlelight vigil held for 7-year-old girl killed in Gastonia

Nation and World News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) – A sea of loved ones, friends, and family members attended a vigil for 7-year-old Gabrielle Jones.

A picture of her sat on display during the ceremony. Her great-grandmother Linda Calwell said the family called her “Gabby” and that she died last week a week after Gastonia Police said she was accidentally shot by her uncle, who was recording a rap music video.

“I’m going to miss everything about my baby, everything, her laugh, her smile,” Calwell said. “She means so much to me, she was just like my own child, it was just like I had a child all over again.”

Mark Raley is with the group Mothers of Murdered Offspring. They gave the family pins that they wore on their shirts, along with hugs and words of encouragement.

The group organized the vigil to bring healing to the family. Gabby’s mom sat in the front while the community rallied behind her.

“My message is to reflect,” Raley said. “We as a community have to help accountable for what goes in our community.”

Heartfelt stories and memories were shared about the short life Gabrielle lived. Seven balloons were released into the air and seven candles were lit by some of her family members.

While Gabby is no longer with us, she leaves behind a message of hope. Underneath her picture, it reads “please don’t grieve my parting rather celebrate my life.”

Yet, her grandfather Orlando Finley says he will still miss her.

“Just being around her laughing and just everything about her,” Finley said.

The family thanked everyone for coming and is asking for prayers.

Funeral arrangements are set for Tuesday at Faith Soldiers Ministry at noon.

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