Family mourns ‘lovable’ Detroit girl, 3, shot at home

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Anaiya Denise Montgomery was only 3 years old, but she already was looking forward to sitting in a classroom with other youngsters.

“She was sweet-hearted, kind, lovable, silly, intelligent,” said her uncle, Andre Scott. “She was ready to go to school.”

Instead of planning for school, the family is planning a service for the girl who was fatally shot in a west side home on Easter morning. Now, as city police seek a suspect, her relatives are holding a candlelight vigil and turning to the public for help with a funeral through GoFundMe.

“It’s hurtful to the family,” her uncle said Monday night. “We weren’t thinking for this to happen. It’s a tragic story for her life to end so soon. That was my only niece.”

Police said Anaiya, who was identified Monday by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, died of multiple gunshot wounds during the shooting reported about 2:10 a.m. Sunday in the 16800 block of Riverview.

Officials ID 3-year-old shot on Easter in Detroit

Two men, ages 39 and 26, also were injured, police said.

Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said others were inside the home when a man — described as 6-foot-1, with a medium complexion and slim build, wearing gray clothing — kicked in the front door.

The gunman ran off and then climbed into a white or gray Grand Marquis.

An investigation is ongoing and no suspects were in custody Monday night, said Officer Shanelle Williams, a spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department.

Scott said his sister, Andrea Montgomery, Anaiya’s mother, knew the man but “he was a new face for us to see.”

That man had visited the home earlier that night, Scott said, adding he and relatives believe the shooting might be connected to a suspected robbery attempt on the homeowner, with whom Montgomery had been living for about a month.

Though the circumstances of the shooting are unclear, the family is awaiting answers — and justice.

“We just want closure,” Scott said.

Meanwhile, the girl’s death moved supporters to donate to the GoFundMe page, which aims to raise at least $3,000.

“Prayers to the family nobody should bury their loved ones NOBODY!” one contributor wrote.

Another posted: “Hope this helps the little angel’s family.”