NewsLocal NewsCuyahoga County

Actions

Mother of slain 9-year-old Saniyah who was killed in crossfire talks about life after losing a child

Posted: 10:25 AM, Nov 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-13 15:28:26Z

The mother of Saniyah Nicholson—the 9-year-old girl who was caught in the crossfire between two groups while sitting in her mother's car outside a shopping center—remembers the terrifying and heartbreaking evening of June 20 like it was yesterday.

Saniyah's mother, Marshawnette Daniels, has been back to the spot on Lee Road where her life changed forever. 

RELATED:  Caught in the Crossfire – A special report on the death of Saniyah Nicholson

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

"When I got to my car, I just couldn't believe it. It was like it was a dream. And I still think it's a dream. I'm still waiting to wake up," said Daniels, shaking her head.

A feeling of guilt creeps in every so often as she circles back to that tragic day.

"Why did I park right there? Why didn't I park up a little bit?" Daniels said. "You have those what ifs, why didn't I? How can I still be here and she's not?"

At the time of this interview, none of the suspects in Saniyah's death had apologized. 

"When I saw them I felt sorry for them. And I know you know people say, 'Why you not mad?' I'm not mad at them. I'm disappointed, but I'm not mad," Daniels said.

Daniels is turning her pain into change with a proposed legislation dubbed "Saniyah's Law," which would hold parents accountable for the actions of their children. If it became a law, it would leave parents financially and legally liable if their children commit a crime.

"Saniyah's Law is basically parents being held 100 percent accountable for their children's actions. It's a law that I believe will make parents be parents," Daniels said.

As the phone calls become fewer and fewer, the vigils end and the funeral passes, all Daniels is left with is a familiar silence and the memories of her daughter.

"Sometimes silence is good. Because it's just been so much noise. And you're doing so much that sometimes you don't even have a chance to sit down and think," Daniels said.