Family mourns 4-year-old girl who died after a shooting in Pittsburgh, asking community to change

PITTSBURGH — It was a very emotional night as family and friends came together to remember a 4-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Pittsburgh.

RELATED COVERAGE: 4-year-old girl dies after shooting in Pittsburgh, police asking parents to monitor children

Kaari Thompson was with her mother Thursday night when the two were shot on Lincoln Avenue. Thompson later died at a hospital.

On Sunday, family members and friends came to the spot where she was shot to remember the young girl they all loved and hold a balloon release in her honor.

PHOTOS: Family mourns 4-year-old girl who died after a shooting in Pittsburgh, asking community to change

“This was senseless. Why would you want to gun down a 4-year-old?” said Heather Thompson, Kaari’s aunt.

The people impacted by Thompson’s death are asking many questions as police continue to investigate the shooting and Kaari’s mother remains in the hospital in critical condition.

“Our whole family is devastated. Her family, our family. Her mother’s in the hospital fighting for her life,” Heather Thompson said.

Channel 11 learned that Thompson’s mother was out on bond awaiting trial on attempted homicide charges. She is accused of shooting two teenagers in Homewood last August.

Less than 24 hours after the shooting, police released an update but did not release a motive for the shooting. Authorities urged parents to get involved with their children and to monitor their social media accounts.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey also spoke to the community, giving an emotional speech and demanding action against ongoing violence.

RELATED COVERAGE: Mayor Gainey urges communities to help in resolving ongoing violence

“The question is real simple: Do you want to keep losing our kids?” Gainey said. “We all know that our children did not create this culture of violence, we did. See, they’re too young to create a culture of violence.”

In the midst of everything, the family is trying to keep the good memories of the little girl alive.

“Four years, she gave me more joy than most people can get in 40 years. I’m going to miss her a lot,” said Kirk Thompson, Kaari’s grandfather.

With no suspects arrested at this point, family members are asking anyone with information to come forward.

“Anybody seeing anything, anybody knowing anything, contact somebody, tell somebody,” Heather Thompson said.

In the meantime, the girl’s grandfather is pleading with the people in the area to change so that he and his family can move forward.

“This whole community needs for this to be taken care of because we can’t heal with this going on,” Kirk Thompson said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to cover expenses related to the tragedy.

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