RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It has been six months since Ciara Dickson and Mark Whitfield’s 9-year-old baby girl Markiya Dickson was taken by gun violence while simply playing in Carter Jones Park.
Since that day, Dickson and Whitfield say they have been waiting to see justice.
“We still have to deal with the loss, we can’t get Markiya back," said Mark Whitfield. “I can’t even look at a video.”
Friday morning brought a sigh of relief for the grieving parents, who learned two suspects have been arrested and charged in their daughter’s death. RPD has identified and continues to search for a third suspect.
“I would rather be going to a trial than walking around knowing these guys are free," said Whitfield.
Before shots were fired during a community event in Carter Jones Park, Whitfield and Dickson say they remember seeing the three suspects. Friday, when their mugshots were released, the couple realized they recognized the three men.
“I want them to remember every day her name, I want them to see her face when they close their eyes,” said Whitfield. “They need to know what they took from us. Our lives will never be the same, we have to live with this until we are dead and gone.”
As RPD continues to investigate, they are still asking for witnesses or anyone who has information about the shooting to come forward.
“Don’t wait until it’s your people in a body bag, don’t wait for that to happen to say something,” said Whitfield “Put yourselves in our shoes - if it was your child.”
Markiya’s family wants their loss and pain to serve as a wake-up call for the community to come forward with information to help in the investigation.
Friday, the father of a 12-year-old boy who was also shot the same day at the park said he was grateful the arrests were made.
“I’m so grateful for that because I’ve been praying for it," Raquan Moses said.
He says since the May shooting, his son Jaquez has healed physically and emotionally.
“Nothing haunts him. He doesn’t have any nightmares. He’s not even bothered by the situation anymore. He’s doing excellent," Moses said.
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