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'Why my sister? She was a baby': 16-year-old Rockwood student gunned down in south St. Louis

"You're tearing apart families, like we're so hurt over this. We don't know how to get through this without her."

ST. LOUIS — A family was begging for answers Monday after their teenage daughter was gunned down in south St. Louis over the weekend.

On Monday, Kyierah Jeffries should've been going back to school at Eureka High School.

Instead, a crisis response team from Rockwood School District was at her home comforting her family.

Staff members from their Student Services Department, including a social worker and a social-emotional behavior specialist, were there for support.

Her bigger sister cried out saying, "I just want to know why. Why my sister?! She was a baby. These people are very wicked killing kids. My sister did nothing to no one out here She tried to be the sweetest person that she can be."

Credit: KSDK

Jeffries was just with them 48 hours prior before her life was cut short.

Saturday afternoon in south St. Louis, on the 5900 block of Minnesota Avenue, police responded to a call for a shooting and found her outside.

When police arrived, the 16-year-old girl was in and out of consciousness with a gunshot wound to the stomach. 

When Jeffries arrived at the hospital, she was no longer conscious or breathing.

Police say, she died from her injuries later on.

RELATED: 16-year-old girl fatally shot in south city identified as Eureka sophomore

This shooting marks the sixth homicide of a juvenile under the age of 18 in St. Louis. 

Her mom Cheryl Ford said her daughter always had grit.

"She had problems when she was born and in the hospital for a month," Ford said. 

She said her daughter never gave up.

"She's my fighter, she's been fighting and she went out fighting," Ford said in between tears. 

Her cousin, who was very close to Jeffries said, "My baby would light up the room when she walked in. She was the life of the party."

Her aunt and Cheryl Ford's twin, Cherie Ford, said her niece was her light. 

When asked about the violence, aunt Anika Jeffries said, "You're tearing apart families, like we're so hurt over this. We don't know how to get through this without her. You just wrecked an entire family by ripping her away from us."

After a violent weekend in St. Louis, Jeffries' family begged for change.

They want answers and for all the love to come forward.

"As a mom, I don't have anything, I don't know where to go. I never thought to look for a funeral home or anything, I'm lost," Ford said. 

The family has set up a GoFundMe.

All of the money will go to the funeral costs and to help mom since she has four other children, she'll be taking time from work.

If you'd like to donate, click here.

Rockwood Tragedies

The unexpected loss comes during a devastating school year for the Rockwood School District.

Back in November, three teens were killed in a crash in St. Louis County.

Two Marquette High School students were killed and two others were injured in a crash. A third teenager who attended De Smet High School was also killed.

In early December, 18-year-old Eureka High School student Kiley Kennedy was shot and killed in the same week a teacher in the district died unexpectedly.

On Dec. 15, Carl Hudson, a longtime educator and mentor in the district, died after an extended illness.

At the end of December, Bob Wilhite, the band director and a teacher at Crestview Middle School, died.

At the end of March, sixth-grader LaFrance Johnson was shot and killed, as he was at his aunt's house.

His 10-year-old brother found a shotgun on the bed inside the home and it went off.

Rockwood released this statement:

The Rockwood School District is shocked and saddened to learn about the tragedy that resulted in the loss of Kyierah Jeffries from Eureka High School. Our sincere thoughts and sympathies are with her family and the educators and friends who knew and loved her. We have assembled our crisis team at Eureka and will have counselors, social workers and social-emotional behavior specialists on hand this week for students and staff who will need assistance. We will also be supporting the families and friends of Kyierah’s siblings to ensure they have the assistance they need. 

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