VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Black Lives Matter 757 and the family of DeShayla Harris are calling for answers five weeks after she was killed during one of the March 26 shootings at the Oceanfront.
So far no arrests have been made in her death. The family says they feel like they’ve been ignored and feel it’s strange that there’s no footage of the shooting.
“Answers, we definitely want answers,” said Elisheba Harris, DeShayla’s mother. “Put yourself in my shoes. If it was your child, how would you feel?”
Harris says she wears her daughter’s jewelry, and the uncertainty surrounding the details of her death has been tortuous.
“I don’t have days, I have moments. I can get up and get dressed, and come downstairs and happen to look at her picture. And I have that moment, and I cry at that moment.”
Harris says her mother’s intuition and spiritual connection with her daughter tell her that a bullet from a police weapon killed her.
“It may sound strange to some people, but she told me they did. I’m just waiting for them to tell me they did,” Harris said.
On Friday night, Virginia Beach police released a statement refuting the claims made during the press conference.
The department said the bullet recovered from DeShayla’s body is not the same type of ammunition issued to officers in the department.
In the statement, police also said the evidence at this time indicated she was shot and killed “several minutes” before the police-involved shooting happened that left 25-year-old Donovon Lynch dead. Police believe she was shot by groups that were exchanging gunfire that night. Nine other people were injured.
BELOW: Watch the full press conference.
“The tragedy the harris family has suffered is unfathomable and we cannot imagine the pain they are enduring,” the police department wrote. “The Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) continues to investigate the death of Ms. DeShayla Harris and our Detective Bureau is working tirelessly to provide the answers the family seeks.”
Police said Chief Paul Neudigate has personally met with the Harris family to update them on the investigation and “offer advocacy resources” to help them during their grief. There are also representatives that are in communication with VBPD that were designated by the family to be liaisons with the department.
BELOW: VBPD respond to claims made Friday during press conference.
But DeShayla‘s mother insists she’s looking only for answers, and not to place blame.
“People make mistakes, I understand. I know it wasn’t purposely for her. It was a mistake.”
DeShayla, AKA “Shay,” was killed by what police said was a stray bullet in the 300 block of 19th Street. Nine other people were hurt by bullets during the shootings that night, and 25-year-old Lynch was fatally shot by a Virginia Beach police officer. There was no bodycam footage of Lynch’s death as well.
DeShayla’s younger sister Tikeera, 26, says the proximity of Lynch’s fatal shooting makes her “a strong and firm believer that the police killed my sister.”
The Harris family has been pushing for justice for weeks, and have criticized Virginia Beach police and city officials for their handling of the incident.
They plan to march with Black Lives Matter 757 Saturday evening to pressure officials for more information.
Anyone with information on the death of DeShayla Harris should call the VBPD homicide unit at 757-385-4101.
Stay with WAVY.com for updates.