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'They killed my baby. Why though?' Mother remembers 9-year-old daughter caught in the crossfire

Posted at 7:34 PM, Jun 21, 2018

It’s a feeling she can’t yet put into words. 

"They killed my baby. Why though? What did she do?" Marshawnette Daniels said in disbelief. 

It's a feeling no parent ever wants to know. 

"She was an innocent baby sitting in the car. What, they didn’t care? You just randomly just shoot and kill people?" Daniels said.

RELATED: 9-year-old girl was killed in crossfire between two groups, police say

Daniels, once a mom to three children, now has to bury her youngest, 9-year-old Saniyah Nicholson.

Daniels let the rising 4th grader wait in the car with her older sister while she grabbed their brother from the local boxing club on Lee and Cloverside in Cleveland. Then all hell broke loose.

"I was only in the gym for like two minutes, but I hear all this shooting so we get down," Daniels said while holding back tears. "We get down, then my baby, my oldest was in the front, my baby was in the back. When the shooting stopped, she ran in the gym. I get up. She said, 'Mommy, they shot Saniyah.'"

Before they learned all hope was lost, the owner of the boxing club jumped up to help her. 

"I immediately ran out, out of there, grabbed her, just told her it's going to be alright," DNA Level C Boxing Club owner Ra'Sheen Ali said. "I’m holding her, just praying that through a miracle that Allah can save her." 

But Saniyah's breathing stopped, and the little girl was gone. Daniels is trying to remember the good times. 

"I want ya’ll to know that my baby is beautiful," Daniels said. "She loved to dance, ya’ll should see her dance. She was so smart. She had a personality out of this world." 

But right now, all she can think of is bringing the person who did this to justice. 

"Saniyah was my 9-year-old baby, she was my last one, she was beautiful and they just took her from me," Daniels said. 

Police are now on the hunt for two persons of interest, adding more patrols on June 21.  They were caught on surveillance cameras wearing hoodies. Authorities are also looking for a car caught on surveillance. 

Anyone with information is asked to call homicide investigators at 216-623-5464 or the Communications Control Section at 216-621-1234. Anonymous tips can be given to Crime Stoppers by calling 216-252-7463 or via text message by texting TIP657 and your message to CRIMES (274637).

A cash reward up to $20,000 may be available for anyone with information regarding this case.