Waverly community dedicates National Night Out to McKenzie Elliot

Residents of the Waverly community in north Baltimore said that while they cannot change what happened to McKenzie Elliot, they can control their response.
 
"We were just going to make it a day of fun and then Friday everything changed," Sonja Merchant-Jones, chairperson for the Better Waverly Community Organization, said. 
 
A stray bullet changed everything.
 
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The community learned of the loss of 3-year-old McKenzie who was sitting on her porch on Old York Road when she was hit by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting.
 
"When something like this happens in the city, it effect all of us," Merchant-Jones said. 
 
Merchant-Jones lives about a half mile from where it happened. She helped organize America's night out against crime in Waverly Tuesday night. 
 
"There are over 17,000 communities that will be having a National Night Out and of course we could not have one and not dedicate it to the memory of McKenzie Elliot," Merchant-Jones said.
 
She is not alone in reaching out to the family and others who have experienced a tragic loss. 
 
Rev. Andre Humphrey, a member of Baltimore's Child Trauma Response Team, was out on Old York Road on Friday before police had cleared the scene. He was praying with family members, as he has done at many other crime scenes in the city. 
 
"If you know that's where the tragedy hit, don't ride by and look. Get out your car and be concerned. That helps a lot," Humphrey said. 
 
He said he knows that for a fact after his son was murdered in 1997. It's where he got his drive to do this work in the community. 
 
Right now, he and many other people are focused on McKenzie's family and getting justice for them. 
 
It is that passion and outrage that Humphrey and Merchant-Jones are hoping will not fade. 
 
"I'll never forget and I'll do everything that I can to make sure that people in this community never forget how that child lost her life," Merchant-Jones said. 
 
 
CORRECTION: McKenzie Elliot's name was spelled incorrectly in an earlier version of this article. ABC2 News regrets the error. 
 
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