Makalah McKay loved spending time with her family, especially the brothers that doubled as her playmates.
On Thursday evening, the 4-year-old’s life was tragically cut short.
Makalah was struck in the chest in an apparent accidental shooting inside a home in the 6400 block of South Carpenter Street about 6 p.m., according to Chicago police. She was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital and pronounced dead.
Another child had found the gun and it accidentally discharged, hitting Makalah, police said.
She is the youngest child to die from gun violence in Chicago this year, according to Chicago Sun-Times data.
Outside the hospital, Makalah’s mother and other family members embraced each other as they struggled for answers.
“My sister called me screaming, and I knew it was something when she called me crying,” Makalah’s aunt, Mariah Roberts, told the Sun-Times. “And what came out her mouth was, ‘Makalah got shot.’”
“It hurts,” Roberts added, her eyes welling with tears.
After speaking with the family, Pastor Donavan Price told the Sun-Times that Makalah was at the home with her mother and some other kids, who he said were now under observation at the hospital. “It’s so heart-wrenching. This mom here, her guts are ripped out right now,” he said.
Roberts demanded justice for Makalah’s death. “People need to be locked up. Something needs to happen,” she said.
Police said a man was taken in for questioning, though no charges have been filed.
So far this year, 234 minors have been shot, 37 fatally. Twenty-seven were under the age of 13, according to Sun-Times data.