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Better Waverly Remembers McKenzie

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with Anthony Lipford and Nina Epps, the parents of three-year-old McKenzie Elliot who was killed by a stray bullet last Friday in the 3600 block of Old York Road.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with Anthony Lipford and Nina Epps, the parents of three-year-old McKenzie Elliot who was killed by a stray bullet last Friday in the 3600 block of Old York Road.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with Anthony Lipford and Nina Epps, the parents of three-year-old McKenzie Elliot who was killed by a stray bullet last Friday in the 3600 block of Old York Road.
Credit P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR
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Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with Anthony Lipford and Nina Epps, the parents of three-year-old McKenzie Elliot who was killed by a stray bullet last Friday in the 3600 block of Old York Road.

Residents in a North Baltimore neighborhood had planned to celebrate their collaboration with police Tuesday during National Night Out. But that changed last Friday when three-year-old McKenzie Elliott was shot and killed by a stray bullet.

What was to have been a celebration in Better Waverly became a vigil for McKenzie. 

“We wanted to give tribute to the baby,” said Sonja Merchant-Jones, president of the Better Waverly Community Association.

Merchant-Jones said the community wanted to let the grieving parents know that McKenzie will be remembered.  “That was one of the things the mother said; that she did not want people to forget as the days went on,” she added.

Dimitri Reeves, a Michael Jackson tribute dancer, performing before a crowd at Better Waverly's National Night Out.  He dedicated his performance to McKenzie Elliott.
Credit P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR
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Dimitri Reeves, a Michael Jackson tribute dancer, performing before a crowd at Better Waverly's National Night Out. He dedicated his performance to McKenzie Elliott.

The vigil included Dimitri Reeves, a Michael Jackson tribute dancer who dedicated his performance to McKenzie.  “It’s really sad.  She lost her life; she didn’t even live her life to the fullest,” said Reeves.

Several dignitaries were drawn to the vigil including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Governor Martin O’Malley.  The mayor made a plea for the community to call Metro Crime Stoppers if they remember seeing anything on the day of the incident.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts promised the crowd that the person responsible for McKenzie’s death would be in custody by the end of the week.

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