CLEVELAND (CNN) — The students of Hannah Gibbons Elementary went to school like they always do.
But on this day, they would learn that no matter how pure or impervious something may be, tragedies happen.
Their classmate, 6-year-old Lyric Lawson, is not coming back.
“This is unbearable,” said Lyric’s aunt. “Twenty-eight times my house got shot up. Twenty-eight times.”
She died at the hospital a few hours later.
Lyric’s aunt said the spunky child was a trophy that her killers took from the world.
“I would hope that they would do what’s best and just turn themselves in,” she said. “Just turn yourself in. If this was one of their kids and somebody did this to one of theirs, I’m pretty sure that they would want the same.”
The tragic reality is that Lyric isn’t the first Cleveland child to be killed in the crossfire.
But city leaders said each one wears on them, and the community.
“Any time an innocent person is caught in the crossfire of violence, it touches everybody’s nerves,” said Cleveland Chief of Police Calvin Williams. “It’s something that shouldn’t happen. It’s a 6-year-old child that hasn’t done anything to anybody. She hasn’t had the chance to live her life. Because of beefs or problems that adults have with each other, they bring that child in the middle of that and that child is gone. That should never happen, not in any place in this country.”
Police said the investigation remains in its early stages.
The description of the dark-colored car leaving the drive-by shooting is scant.
City leaders implore those with information to come forward for both Lyric’s sake, and her classmates, too.
“We always, always, need the public’s help because I have 1,600 officers out there,” Williams said. “There are 300,000 people in this city. Those eyes and ears see a lot more than our 1,600 officers. We need the public’s help.”