Vigil held for girl killed in crossfire in Camden

Sunday, August 28, 2016

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- Family and friends of Gabrielle Carter gathered Saturday evening for a vigil to mourn the 8-year-old girl.

You could feel Merissa Carter Phillips' anguish as she spoke to hundreds gathered to mourn her daughter.

"My baby's gone, she's not coming back," said Carter Phillips. "I need her. I need her here with me."

"She was fun-loving, outgoing, so much character," said Gabrielle's uncle, Darryl Mac. "Full of life."

Family, friends and neighbors lit candles and hugged in front of the home where the little girl lived, feet from where she was shot in the head, an innocent victim of a gun battle Wednesday night.

"It's her time to be called home," said Gabrielle's cousin, Ja'Lai Goodman. "I just got to think I could be next."

The vigil was also a rally for justice.

Pastor W. Lee Cofer, another family cousin, addressed those in the crowd who are too afraid to tell police what they know about the gunmen.

"Y'all are too friendly, because it's your sons and daughters that's doing it!" scolded Cofer.

Despite handing out fliers and a growing reward, police officials say the community has remained largely tight-lipped.

"Right now it's been difficult for us to get additional information from the community," Camden Co. Police Chief Scott Thomson said Friday. "We are hoping to incentivize this."

A reward leading to the killer now stands at $24,000.

Police said they plan to release surveillance video from a camera as a last resort.

It was unclear how many days would pass before that happens.

If you know anything about this shooting, you can remain anonymous. Call the Citizens Crime Commission at 877-345-TIPS.