Local News

Grandfather of slain toddler: She was an angel

Posted January 1, 2016
Updated January 2, 2016

— Friday night, a small apartment community in Chapel Hill was mourning the death of a toddler killed a week ago in a drive-by shooting with a candlelight vigil that called for an end to the violence that took her life.

Maleah Williams, 1, was shot in the head outside her family's apartment in the 700 block of Trinity Court on Christmas Day, and she died Monday at UNC Hospitals.

Maleah’s grandmother, Clarissa Farrington, said she was moved by all of the people who lit candles in memory of the little girl whose light still shines brightly in her grandmother’s heart.

"Being down here feels good to see the support that we have down here," she said.

Earlier in the day, Farrington lashed out at local churches, saying they have provided little support for the family.

"I'm trying to hear an apology and to get an understanding why none of these churches reached out, came by to say, 'How you doing?'" she said. "I didn't get a phone call. I didn't see no one at the hospital. So, I don't really feel like the community was there."

The NAACP and religious groups held a memorial service for Maleah on Friday afternoon at St. Joseph's CME Church in Chapel Hill.

At the beginning of the memorial service, Michelle Laws, executive director of the state branch of the NAACP, provided the apology Farrington sought.

"I'm sorry that our community did not stand quickly enough and fast enough. We can't change the past because, if we could, Maleah would be here," Laws said.

North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber demanded an end to violence and more action from the black community.

"We must stop these funerals," Barber said. "Why the hell are we killing ourselves? We must have a revival, a revival of our self-worth."

At Friday night’s vigil, which was held by the NAACP, the small apartment community was seeking a pathway to calm and compassion for each other.

“All children belong to this community and belong to each of us, and so it is a start. It’s a start to wrap our arms around this family and let them know, as a community, we do care,” said Laws.

Both events were comforting to Maleah’s family, but her grandfather still finds hope in her death.

“God created a child, and she was an angel, and to me, he took her for a purpose,” said Albert Williams.

Ramone Jamarr Alston, 22, and Pierre Je Bron Moore, 23, are charged with first-degree murder in Maleah's death, while Shaquille Oneill Davis, 22, is charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Police said shots were fired from a vehicle as it was leaving the apartment complex, and one of the bullets struck the toddler. Witnesses said the shooting might have been retaliation for an argument that occurred earlier on Christmas Day and that Maleah was an innocent victim.


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  • Tabitha D. McLaurin Jan 3, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    *you see the three perps

  • Tabitha D. McLaurin Jan 3, 2016
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    What really cuts to the core, is when you look at the picture below and guy see the three perps lined up looking mean and hateful, but then you see Maleahs sweet face and you know that SHE was the one who lost her life for something stupid that three grown men couldn't resolve without violence. This is so unfair; when I saw this picture I lost it and I can't stop crying. I'm sorry this happened to you, Maleah....

  • Sonja Yagel Jan 2, 2016
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    A innocent baby whose life was taken by someone whose heart was filled with evil. I agree with her granddad, Mr. Williams, no matter how hard the trial God is with His children and you can go to Maleah and see her in Heaven if you place your trust in our Lord and Savior. This world is so vile and wicked I don't know why God allows it to continue. One day He will put and end to it by His return.

  • Mary Meadows Jan 2, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    well said
    Well said Anne.

  • Joey Cuddington Jan 2, 2016
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    This precious innocent black child was murdered while being held in her black mother's arms by three savages that just happen to be black. I mentioned the race three times on purpose. Now WHERE IS THE REV WILLIAM BARBOUR AND THE NAACP WITH THE MEDIA???

    What failed this murdered child was a "lack of church" in the lives of the 3 sub-humans that took her life while in her mother's arms. This is a blight on society that has turned from condemnation to accommodation by the very black community nationwide that suffers the most from the barbaric actions of its own people. The NAACP, Sharpton, Jackson, lawyers and greedy family members just can't make $$$ off these sad situations, so little attention is sought. The time to teach adults to be good and God fearing citizens is when they are small children -- so let's all get busy. It's already too late for some.....

  • ecp1951 Jan 2, 2016

    it breaks my heart to see this story of such a pretty little girl taken away for no reason. it also breaks my heart to hear the words of her grandmother wondering where the churches are in this case. was she a member and supporter of any local church? maybe if the majority of the black community were more responsible and participants for good the situation for them might be quite different. when those in the black community begin to rise up against this senseless violence to put an end to it i will have more sympathy. God helps us all.

  • Diana Haywood Powell Jan 2, 2016
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    We really need to continue to educate our community on how to handle situations like this, because it do tends to go into the blame game. But if we the church get out more and educate the people on the position of the church and the role it plays in the community. I think that's what's missing in these situations lack of knowledge and misunderstanding. We cover these issues every Monday night during our Bring Back The Village and Empowering Our Community 7-9pm at our local church.

  • Matt Clinton Jan 2, 2016
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    "We must stop these funerals," Barber said. "Why the hell are we killing ourselves? We must have a revival, a revival of our self-worth."

    Wow, even a broken clock is right twice a day. The black community desperately needs to look inward and get its own proverbial house in order before going off on tangential causes like it has been wont to do of late.

  • LetsBeFair Jan 1, 2016

    why is this even news ?

  • Anne Havisham Jan 1, 2016
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    Let's remember that she is grieving; what she says and what she's quoted as saying may not represent how she usually speaks or thinks.

    Also, she may come from a locale where a different sort of support is commonplace, regardless of church membership.

    And yes, she may be exactly what some people here assume her to be; perfection is not required to have horrible events happen in one's life.

    Those who are blaming her or Maleah's parents may want to remember that is not required for a person to be horrid in order to have horrible events happen in one's life, either.