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Girl, 11, killed by stray bullet laid to rest

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 19:15:58-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Loved ones and classmates of Saniyah Pugh, 11, said their goodbyes Friday. Her funeral was at Second Ebenezer Church on Detroit's east side.

Saniyah died on June 4 when she was hit by what Detroit police say was a stray bullet. She was in her grandmother’s home with five other kids inside.

Her cheer coaches presented a tribute.

“Her coaches saw something in her that you couldn’t help but see. Her smile was from ear to ear every time I seen her," one coach stated.

"She was funny and outgoing and doing TikTok videos. She was always the life of the party, filling the hearts of all she encountered with laughter and joy. Niyah loved to dance and and cheer," Avis Taylor, 1st AC chaplain read Saniyah's obituary.

Other speakers at Saniyah’s homegoing service, like community activist Malik Shabazz, made calls for her untimely death to spark change. He pushed for a wake-up call for those perpetrating and perpetuating gun violence.

“Each and everyday, all day, all night children are being killed. Women are being killed. Seasoned citizens are being killed," Shabazz said. "We are long overdue to get up and to stand up. This will not hold anymore. We are declaring a ceasefire among us!”

Bishop Daryl Harris delivered Saniyah’s eulogy and called on bystanders not to point the finger but to be part of the solution.

“We’ve got a problem, and we’ve got bad things happening," he said.

"We’ve got to figure out how do we stop this bad thing from happening over and over and over and over again. Last year alone, 79 children lost their lives as a result of gunfire in this city. This is only the month of June, and we’re already in double digits of children being harmed by guns," Harris continued.

A 17-year-old girl and 21-year-old man have both been charged in connection with Saniyah's death. Authorities say the two shot a gun in a backyard that night. A stray bullet then hit Saniyah.

Charges for the 21-year-old include second-degree murder. Both are due back in court later this month.