Girl killed by celebratory gunfire gives life to others (PHOTOS)

10-year-old Aaliyah Boyer of Lancaster County was struck and killed by a stray bullet apparently fired during a New Year's celebration in Elkton, Maryland.
January 4, 2013 6:21:51 AM PST
A 10-year-old Lancaster County girl, who was shot in the head by a bullet apparently fired during a celebration to mark the New Year, has died.

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The girl, Aaliyah Boyer, succumbed to her injuries late Thursday morning, police said.

"What do you do when your 10-year-old's not there," Aaliyah's mother Crystal Blackburn said to Action News after the loss of her child.

Aaliyah was struck by a bullet while watching fireworks in the backyard of a relative's home on Ajs Court in Elkton, Maryland around 12:10 a.m. Tuesday.

"Everyone was having a nice time," said Aaliyah's aunt Ashleigh Rice during an interview on Wednesday. "There were just fireworks around us."

"The next thing I knew they carried her in and she was just limp," Blackburn said.

Blackburn said they never even heard the gunshots over the sound of fireworks.

"I thought maybe she passed out because she did have a little bit of blood, but nothing significant," Blackburn said.

"We didn't know what happened. We thought she passed out and hit her head," Rice said.

Police say Aaliyah had been hit in the head by a stray bullet.

"She was blue. Her fingers were blue. Her toes were blue," Rice said.

Doctors determined last night that Aaliyah was brain dead.

Her mother spent a final night with her daughter at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children.

On Thursday morning, the family donated her organs, at least 3 children were saved.

Aaliyah's heart went to another little girl at the very same hospital.

"I pray for those kids that they make it, that they live long happy lives with Aaliyah's gift," Blackburn said.

Aaliyah's mother also tells Action News that her home in Delaware was burglarized since the shooting and some of the kids' brand new Christmas presents were stolen.

However, it was not Aaliyah's home - she lived with her grandmother in Manheim, Pa.

Crystal Blackburn says she plans to file a police report eventually, but for right now, she is focusing on burying her daughter.

She also says there have been fake Facebook funds set up to raise money for the family. She said the correct information would be made public once a memorial account is set up.

The funeral for Aaliyah will be held in Lancaster County where the young girl lived.

It's illegal to fire a gun into the air in Maryland, so police are now trying to figure out who fired the shot.

"To fire a gun for a celebratory reason is just a terrible, horrible idea and incidents like this can happen," said Lt. Michael Holmes of the Cecil County Sheriff's Office.

"I know things happen and it was an accident, but this person is out there and they have no clue what they did just because they were just not thinking," said relative Katie Shoap.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is being asked to call Sergeant Joseph Wilson at 410-392- 2117.


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