Vigil held for unsolved murder of girl shot playing with Christmas gifts

Image 1 of 4

Two days after Christmas, 2015, Chanell and her little cousin were playing with new toys at their home on Detroit's west side -  when someone drove up and started shooting. 

One by one, family and friends took to the microphone remembering 8-year-old Chanell Berry at a vigil Wednesday night.

"Lord we want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to come celebrate her life," said one of the mourners.
"I hate that we have to live without her every day and we can't have her with us," said her best friend Ellen.

Two years ago to the day in this same west side Detroit home, Chanell and her 7-year-old cousin Ellen were playing with new Christmas toys.

In a flash, Chanell was gone, Ellen clinging to life in critical condition. The whole family was home when someone pulled up in a car and started shooting. 

"We came down here and saw both of the babies in a pool of blood," said Yianna Johnson. "That was the worst day of my life."

Investigators say a family argument earlier in the night spurred the senseless gunfire. 

Two people were arrested for the shooting, questioned but then released.

"I'm not going to stop until my baby gets the justice that she deserves," Johnson said.

Chanell's mother, Kiana, says she isn't getting many answers from police - which adds to their heartbreak. 

"Every year we are going to celebrate this little lady," Kiana said.

Chanell's cousin Ellen was there to honor her best friend.

"She didn't deserve to die," Ellen said. "She was like my best friend. I could always talk to her, we laughed (together) and we had a lot of fun together."

This memorial wall reminds them all how much of an impact Chanell had in just eight short years. 

"For someone to take an innocent child's life is really sad," Ellen said.

Detroit police say this is still an open investigation, Chanell's family will continue pressing them for answers.