A vigil is being planned for this afternoon to remember 13-year-old Monae Turnage, who police say was accidentally shot and killed by one of her classmates while playing a with a rifle inside a rowhouse on Saturday night.
Tentative plans include a gathering about 4 or 4:30 p.m. outside Monae's school, William C. March Middle, at 2050 North Wolfe St. The mourners will then march to the girl's house a few blocks away in the 1700 block of Sinclair Lane.
That route roughly follows the path that Monae took when she left her house Saturday night to walk to an adjoining neighborhood, Darley Park, to meet a friend to go roller skating. She was killed that night inside a Darley Avenue rowhouse, and police have charged two of her friends, boys 12 and 13, as juveniles with involuntary manslaughter.
A new twist this sad case came Tuesday when police said they suspended a police officer who had been involved with a relative of one of the young suspects. Police sources said .22 caliber rifle used to shoot Monae in the chest was found in the off-duty officer's personal vehicle.
Homicide investigators have now included the officer in their criminal investigation, and we're awaiting more information on this element. Police said that after the shooting, the boys dragged the body out of the house, across an alley and hid it in a back yard under trash bags. The victim's brother found his dead sister 19 hours later.
Read story on police officer suspended.
Story on charges filed against the youths.
Watch video of mother talking about Monae.
A parent who notified us about the vigil, Vonda Cole, said her son had been friends with the young suspects, as well as Monae. She also said the Monae had attended a vigil last year for 12-year-old Sean Johnson, who lived in Darley Park and was shot and killed while sitting on a front porch watching a basketball game on TV. That shooting occurred a block from where Monae was killed.
"We're all just recoveirng from Sean," Cole told me. "Now we have to recover from another one."