Vigil held for Baltimore girl killed in crash by murder suspect

BALTIMORE - A small group of East Baltimore residents gathered Wednesday to grieve for a 12-year-girl who was killed in a car crash Tuesday night.

The vigil was held at the corner of Preston and Aisquith streets where not even 24 hours ago a driver fleeing from police ran a red light careening into a white van carrying Shanizya Taft.

“The only thing you can do is pray and have faith,” Louise James, Taft’s great great aunt , said.

The vigil was organized by Zion Baptist Church. About 20 family members and churchgoers prayed for Taft.

“It’s really beautiful,” James said. “I’m glad to see the community come together about this.”

Police believe the driver who hit the van that Taft was in is connected to the murder of a 16-year-old boy Monday. Police spotted the suspect’s car Tuesday before it sped off and crashed into the van driven by a mom with two kids in the backseat.

“I pray to God he turns himself in,” James said. “I feel for them. I know what it’s like to lose a young man in the family."

Taft said the family experienced another loss when a young man was gunned down in the Pimlico neighborhood during Preakness. The was James’s niece’s boyfriend and the mother of her child.

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