Community members are finding ways to help a grieving family that lost a 13-year-old to gun violence over the weekend.
Columbus Police say they still need tips to help catch the person who shot Italy McCrae and her 15-year-old sister.
Italy died from a gunshot wound to the chest, but her sister survived the attack.
“I wish the family was here so we could just talk to them and just show our love for them,” said Brad Pochatek, who was in the neighborhood volunteering for a city clean-up project on Tuesday.
Neighbors have left a care package, stuffed animals, and a candle for a teen they remember as being a good kid.
“She was a little sweetheart. I mean, she always looked out for everybody,” said Donald Cooper. “She’s always been very good, you know, and she gets out here and at the bus stop and watches for the little kids to get off the bus.”
Cooper says he was at home when Italy was killed and heard the gunshots that night.
“ I think I heard 4 to 5 shots,” he said.
Soon, flashing police lights illuminated Second Avenue while police investigated what happened to the girls.
Three days later, lights were still flashing, but they belonged to volunteers.
Members of Veritas Church chose to bring the For Columbus Cleanup Project to a home now shrouded in silence–a place where the laughter of two teen sisters will never be heard again.
“This is important for us, especially with Veritas being right down the street,” Pochatek said.
The group picked up trash, dead leaves and pulled weeds from the ground–small gestures they hope will show their love for their neighbor.
“When you see something like this, it just really hits you here, you know,” Cooper said, touching his heart. “The senseless killing needs to stop.”
An online fundraising page has been set up to help the family pay for medical and funeral expenses.
Police are asking anyone who has information about this fatal shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 614-423-TIPS.