Woman shot, killed outside W. Phila. apartment

WEST PHILADELPHIA - November 17, 2012

A family makes a heartfelt plea to find the killer of a Philadelphia woman who turned out to be an innocent bystander.

Homicide detectives say they are working some leads in the case, but they are still looking for tips about the person who opened fire killing a young woman.

Philadelphia police were on the scene moments after 22-year-old Zykia Sanders was shot in the back and killed outside a high rise in the Powelton section of West Philadelphia.

"That is my baby, and I'm so hurt. I'm so hurt," said Barbara Sanders. "I will be glad when they catch him."

Barbara Sanders says her granddaughter was with friends on the 4400 block of Holden Street at West Park Apartments.

They were coming from a party around 2:00 a.m. when someone opened fire in the courtyard.

The gunshots woke up many in the complex including Sanders' grandmother who lives only two buildings away.

"I heard the shots, and I jumped up out of my bed and I looked and I saw everybody running across and they kept hollering 'Zykia just got hit,'" said Sanders.

Police have released few details about the circumstances of the shooting, but they don't believe Sanders was the intended target.

Police say Sanders is from Germantown but sometimes lives with her grandmother in Powelton.

Her family says she was an innocent bystander; a young woman in school working on her bachelor's degree with a promising future.

"We're going to pray to God that everything gets resolved and the killer comes forth. We just have to come together and stop it. I just don't know where it is going to end. Everyday some young life is just taken, snuffed away from them," said the victim's cousin Helen Manefee.

"I always tell her every morning, I said, 'Zykia, I love you.' She said, 'Grandmomma, I love you too.' But yesterday, I didn't tell her I love her, and I feel some type of way," Sanders said.

Police have not released a description of the gunman.

Sanders' family members say they will be holding a vigil for her Sunday evening in the apartment complex.

"It was devastating," said Helen Menefee. "It really, really has to stop. The senseless killing has to stop."

The shooting remains under investigation.

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