MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Friends and family came together Sunday to remember the life of a 13-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a stray bullet in Mount Vernon Saturday.

The shooting happened around 2:30 Saturday afternoon. Shamoya McKenzie was sitting in her mother’s car near the intersection of Chestnut Place and 3rd Street when she was struck in the head by a bullet intended for someone else.

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Nadine McKenzie says the two of them were coming home from basketball practice when gunshots shattered their window and their world

“I thought she was playing,” she said. “I didn’t know she really got shot until I see the big hole in my window.”

Police say Shamoya — a six foot tall 8th grade honor student and rising star in Mount Vernon youth basketball — was hit by a stray bullet intended for someone else on nearby Pease Street.

In a post to the Mount Vernon Lady Knights Basketball team’s Facebook page, Shamoya was described as a “beautiful, intelligent young lady who brightened the room with her smile.”

Over 100 friends and family members shared a flood of emotion and memories of the young star at the Sunday memorial.


Nadine told WCBS 880’s Myles Miller that Shamoya had plans to make it big.

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“She was looking forward to going to UConn, she was looking forward to going to the WNBA,” she said.

Dwayne Murray was the program director where Shamoya played basketball. He fought back tears as he remembered the rising star who played on an all boys team and won the Most Improved award last year.

“She was on her way,” he told 1010 WINS’ Andrew Falzon. “If there was a caption you could put on Shamoya it is, she was on her way in a big way.”

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas joined mourners at the Sunday vigil.

“A senseless, heinous act of violence lead to her unfortunate, untimely death,” he said.

Coach David Newton said Shamoya was a hard worker whose goals were cut short by the gunman who is still on the run.

“I know there’s somebody out there who knows something,” he pleaded. “Please catch this person, please find out what happened.”

A 28-year-old man –who may have been the intended target — was also struck by Saturday’s gunfire. He’s currently at the hospital recovering, but sources tell CBS2’s Brian Conybeare that he is not cooperating with police and is refusing to help them track down Shamoya’s killer.

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