About 300 mourners packed a little league field in Adelanto Thursday to remember a 12-year-girl shot to death inside her Victorville home the previous night.
Makiya Walls would have started her first day back to school Thursday. Her mother expressed her gratitude to the community through her heartbreak.
"My baby was loved," Maesha McCullers told KTLA. "This is hard. This is very very difficult. I've never felt anything like this.”
The shooting was reported about 8:35 p.m. Wednesday. Witnesses said they saw a man walking up to the home with a shotgun and opened fire into the residence, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Responding deputies found Makiya with gunshot wounds. She was rushed to a local hospital where she died just before 10 p.m.
Makiya's friends and teachers tearfully spoke at the somber vigil and described her as a vibrant honor roll student and cheerleader who was looking forward to her 7th grade year.
"I'm just devastated. To have this happen to such a great family and great girl, “I’m just having a really hard time," Linda Eways, Makiya’s former teacher, told KTLA.
Investigators still haven't released a motive in this deadly shooting or why that gunman, who is still at large, targeted her home.
But her family and friends believe justice will come in the form of an arrest.
"We are trying to stay strong,” a close family friend told KTLA. “I don't think we can ever be healed from this.”
The girl's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses.
"KyKy as her family calls her was tragically taken away from us," the page reads. "She was loved by many and she will be GREATLY missed."