8-Year-Old Aspiring Entertainer Fatally Shot In New Jersey
The Black community in Newark, New Jersey is mourning the loss of 8-year-old Zahmire Lopez, who was fatally shot while at home the night of May 3, CNN reported.
Born prematurely to a doting mother, Zahmire was a beam of light and energy to his loved ones, as detailed by CNN. Often dancing or performing a new rap song he’d written, the elementary schooler had high hopes for his future. However, his life was cut short after allegedly being shot by his mother’s boyfriend, Everett Rand, in what she claimed was a drug-fueled incident.
The child was among two other victims of the shootout, with Rand’s best friend, 27-year-old Wyleek Shaw, also succumbing to his injuries. The third person involved, 24-year-old Tajion Simmons, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
“He fought to even get in this world, so then for his life to end short, it’s just devastating,” expressed Leontine Niangara, Zahmire’s mother.
Zahmire’s short life is an epidemic in itself, as children across the United States have been victims of gun violence, with over 1,300 losing their lives in this manner since the start of 2023. Now, his mother only has his songs, shared by his stage name of “Lil Zah,” as a memory of the artistic young boy she brought into this world, the outlet reported.
“It’s very hard,” shared the New Jersey resident. “It’s not an hour goes by that I don’t just think about him. It’s hard. Some say when time goes by it gets easier, but it doesn’t get easier.”
Rand was apparently very close to the 8-year-old. However, after allegedly opening fire at the scene that took the young boy’s life, Rand fled the house. Newark police chased after him, and the pursuit ended with the 29-year-old fatally wounded after he attempted to shoot at the officers.