Prayer vigil for "Milton / McClenton family, the families of all who have lost loved ones due to violence, and the spiritual re-awakening of our community" being held on Sunday
Charnice Milton, a 27-year-old reporter for the Capital Community News was shot to death in Washington DC lat Wednesday night as she was coming home after covering a monthly meeting.
As Milton was walking to catch a bus home, a man grabbed her and used Charnice as a human shield. Milton was then shot by another individual around 9:40 pm est.
When DC police arrived at the scene, they found found Milton suffering from a gun shot wound to the chest and Charnice was taken to a nearby hospital where she later died.
Police described the suspect as a male in his late teens with long dreadlocks, last seen speeding away from the crime scene on a dirt bike.
“What we do know is that out of cowardice, a young man grabbed my daughter and put [her] between the bullet and his life,” Ken McClenton, Milton's father, said.
"At 9:28, she texted me and said, 'I'm on my way home,'
"So, I was waiting for her to text me back and let me know if she needed me to pick her up, if she needed us, where she was. And we never got that text last night."
“We miss our daughter. We hurt that she is no longer with us it. But we also know that she is at a peaceful place," Milton's mother Francine Milton said.
Milton's parents faith in God has been unwavering and helping them cope with the tragic loss of their daughter. They are also celebrating Charnice's life despite the obstacles she faced in her life growing up.
“We are firmly founded on the Lord. We believe that she had an appointed time and the time she was with us, we enjoyed every single moment of her life.
"She was a good girl.
“She had her own condition of Aspergers and it was presumed because of her special condition, she would never excel and never achieve any great feat. Yet watching our daughter walk across the stage at Bishop McNamara High School with honors, then going to Ball State and graduating with honors, then graduating at Syracuse with honors, and then staying here in Southeast Washington D.C., when she could have gone anywhere.
"She could have worked at any news media organization she wanted to. She had the credentials, she had the expertise, she had the knowledge, but she sacrificed and she stayed and wrote in Ward 8," McClenton said.
Milton's former journalism professor Aileen Gallagher spoke very highly of the young reporter.
"She was earnest and trusting and kind, qualities which are great in humanity, but not necessarily in a journalist and I think she knew that and she worked hard to overcome it. She was shy, so speaking to strangers didn't come naturally to her.
"What I really admired about her was that she didn't give up, but week after week after week, she just did it until it wasn't hard anymore," Gallagher said.
Andrew Lightman, the managing editor of Capital Community News said "not only did they gun down a young woman, they also silenced one of our reporters.”
"I think it’s a real loss not only for us and her family but also the communities that she covered. She was one of a handful of reporters across the District who was looking at the nuts and bolts of everyday life," Lightman said about Milton.
“We want to know. We know that people were in and around the area. We have gotten very little information and we need the public to provide that information so Charnice's killer can be captured,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
"She was on her way home doing what she did every single day," Here is a woman who’s dedicated her life to her community, her family, her church.
“Wrong place, wrong time, certainly not the intended victim.
"Help us get to the person who would be so reckless as to take this life in the manner it was taken, We need closure for this girl, for this community, " D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.
Anyone who has information regarding this case is asked to call police at 202-727-9099. Information can also be submitted to the DC Police Department's text tip line by text messaging 50411.
"The promise ring I gave her in high school was on her finger when that man dropped her to the pavement., Her days should have been long upon this Earth, but two cowards took her life," McClenton said.
A prayer vigil for is scheduled for 3 pm est in Washington DC on Sunday to pray for the "Milton / McClenton family, for the families of all who have lost loved ones due to violence, and for the spiritual re-awakening of our community." People are asked to assemble at Good Hope RD SE and Alabama Ave SE.
McClenton is asking people to:
1. Continue to pray.
2. Begin the conversation that the primary problem in black America is black on black crime.
3. Find a way to close crime cases in America's inner cities.
"Black on black crime is the real crisis in America. Who Suffers: innocent Bystanders, public Safety and law and order.
"A white police officer did not kill my daughter. Two black cowards killed my daughter.
"No protest will return my daughter. Only God fearing Americans can truly honor my daughter's life by taking back the inner city," McClenton said.