Loved ones remember 6-year-old Aniya Allen during funeral
A 6-year-old girl was remembered by family, friends and an entire community Wednesday.
Aniya Allen was shot while riding in the back of a car and died days later.
On Wednesday, loved ones said their final goodbyes at Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis.
Aniya Allen’s mother said she hopes people will remember all of the positive things her daughter brought to the world.
It was solemn as a horse-drawn carriage carried the 6-year-old to her final resting spot.
Tyshawn Claypool, Aniya’s cousin, said, "She’s always going to shine bright in my heart."
Now, many are feeling heartache for the loss of a child.
"An angel from above that God blessed us with for a joyful six years," said Curtina Wilson, Aniya’s aunt. "I’m so sorry this happened to you. The violence needs to stop."
Her grandfather, K.G. Wilson, who is also a community activist, said, "You only took the body because the spirit is still right here with us."
Allen is one of three children hit by bullets in recent weeks in the city.
"Enough is enough. This child should not be laying here right now, period," said Tray Pollard, of We Push for Peace.
At her service, relatives described her as loving, bright and outgoing.
Aaron Chappell, a loved one who read the obituary aloud, said, "She also loved being a helper, even if she couldn’t do it, she wanted to help."
"Her beautiful smile, I will miss that a lot. She was just a loving little girl. I never had to do any redirection with her. She always listened to me. She was full of life, full of energy, very sweet," said Angel Patterson, one of Aniya’s teachers at New Horizon Academy in north Minneapolis.
Loved ones released balloons into the air and said, "I love you Aniya," honoring her memory.
Bishop Richard D. Howell, Jr., of Shiloh Temple International Ministries, said, "Her body being carried around this community is definitely a reminder to us all that we can do a better job in bringing the community together."
Aniya’s final resting place will be at Lakewood Cemetery. Funeral organizers say the family wanted her to be near lake Bde Maka Ska. They say that’s the last place Allen was playing.