Baltimore police said Sunday that a 9-year-old boy was playing with a loaded gun when he accidentally shot and killed a 15-year-old girl.

Police said that the teen, Nykayla Strawder, was shot in the head. At the time, she was playing on her front porch Saturday night in West Baltimore’s Edmondson Village, reported New York Post. The girl was pronounced dead at a local hospital, but police said that the boy will not be criminally charged because of his age. After the shooting, the boy dropped the gun and fled the scene. The gun is registered to a woman who is a relative of the child. She works as an armed security guard, police said.

Neighbors, who stay in the 600 block of Linnard Street, described hearing familiar sounds of kids playing. They said that around 8 p.m. a single and sharp pop rang out followed by horrified screams. The victim's father, Dontay Jones, said that he and his wife were upstairs in their home when they heard the shot. They ran out to find their daughter on their front porch. His wife was hysterical as she pulled her child into her arms, reported Fox 45 News.

Nykerah Strawder said that her daughter, who loved to dance and make videos on TikTok, was special and that she fought to stay alive. Nykerah pleaded for young people to stop using firearms, and said that she wants "children to be more safe." She added that she wants people to put the "guns away, get rid of these guns."

The shooting attracted a crowd and drew a large police presence Saturday night, The Baltimore Sun reported. Friends and neighbors stopped by the house where Nykayla lived, and offered support to her family.

Neighbor Avis Welborn saw many children playing on the porch before the shooting. She recognized that the group had hung out together before, and said that they "seemed to be friends." Another neighbor, Theresa Hargrave, described the area as quiet. She bemoaned how easy it is for kids and teens to have access to guns. She blamed careless adults for not locking up their firearms and keeping them away from kids.

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