Community remembers girl shot and killed in Sedamsville

SEDAMSVILLE, OH (FOX19) - An 11-year old girl shot and killed over the weekend in Sedamsville was remembered Tuesday night by those closest to her.

Prayer, songs and candlelight from hundreds took over the front yard of the weekend crime scene at the Delhi Avenue home where Shanti Lanza was shot and killed.

Her father, Deandre Kelley is accused of firing the shot that killed Shanti.

Only in the fifth grade, the news of her death is taking a big toll on her Riverside Academy classmates.

"She won't be there for her friends. She won't be there for the people she stands up for," said her classmate Deonta Shields, as he tried to hold back tears.

Family members tell FOX19 an argument between Shanti's mother, Kristina Lanza, and the suspect, Deandre Kelley, who is the girl's father, ended in Kelley leaving the home.

When he wasn't allowed back inside, he allegedly started shooting into the air with one bullet going through a second story window hitting Shanti.

"A lot of us took it hard because Shanti was a great student. She was great to work with.  It's been hard for everybody," said Alisha Mimes, a teaching assistant at Riverside Academy.

Shanti is the latest victim in a violent start to the new year in the city of Cincinnati. Mayor John Cranley is hoping to change the trend by putting more officers on the streets.

"I grew up right at the top of the hill. This is a neighborhood I know. I used to walk these streets as a kid. I have a four year old son, and I just can't imagine anything worse than what's happened here," said Cranley at the vigil.

Shanti may be gone, but it's one thing some of those closest to her will never forget.

"Her smile, She had a wonderful smile. A beautiful smile," Mimes told FOX19.

Shanti was taken to a local hospital after being shot on Sunday where she was pronounced dead.

Deandre Kelley's family claims the girl's death was an accident. Kelley is still behind bars with bond set at $500,000. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of reckless homicide in the case.

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