Family relieved by arrests in Durham teen's murder
Posted May 18, 2012
Updated May 19, 2012
Durham, N.C. — The mother and grandmother of a Durham girl killed in a drive-by shooting more than a year ago said Friday that the arrest of two men was the answer to their prayers.
Demetriss China, mother of 13-year-old Shakanah China, said she never doubted police would solve the case.
Shakanah, a seventh-grader at Lakeview School in Durham, was playing outside 7 Atka Court when someone fired several shots from a passing van. She was hit in the stomach and died.
Her grandmother, Diane Billings, remembered Shakanah as her favorite, the child she spoiled above other grandchildren.
"That was my baby," Billings, said. "I miss everything about her."
Billings and China agreed, after Shakanah's death, they had sleepless nights, lost weight and prayed for closure.
"I wasn't going to rest until I found them," China said of the men who killed her daughter. "Now I can't rest until they get what they deserve."
For Billings, the arrests bring a measure of relief, but don't ease her loss. "I tell everybody it still won't bring her back. The reason she was shot was so foolish. A beautiful, innocent person is gone over some mess that could've been avoided."
On Friday, police charged Levette Lipscomb, 26, and Brandon Townsend, 19, with murder. Police said both men lived on North Briggs Avenue, and they were being held without bond. Family relieved by arrest in Durham drive-by
"I'm glad," Billings said, "But by the same token, someone else's family will have to go through grief and heartache because of what their child has done."
Family members said there were more than two people in that van, and Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash, and callers do not have to leave a name.