Akron family desperate for justice 2 years after 8-year-old was killed at birthday party

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 10:41 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s been two years since 8-year-old Mikayla Pickett was gunned down at a birthday party in Akron and her killer is still walking free. The little girl’s family is calling on Akron police to do more to close her case.

“She was smart,” said an emotional Lynette Williams, Mikayla’s cousin. “She loved her family. She liked to dance, she liked to cheer, she liked makeup.”

Mikayla Pickett loved all of the typical things that 8-year-old girls love, but her life was cut short one night when she was playing outside at a party.

“If it was your family, what would you do? Help us,” pleaded Williams. “This is hard. Give peace to my cousin Mikayla Pickett, an 8-year-old girl who did not deserve to die this way.”

On August 14, 2020, Mikayla went to a birthday party down the block from her home on Roselle Avenue. Authorities say a little before midnight a group of boys showed up at the party and started shooting. Mikayla was caught in the crossfire.

“Somebody that was there they know who was shooting,” said Williams. “They know and if it ain’t tearing them up at night I don’t know what kind of person that they are because I could not rest knowing that someone shot a little 8-year-old girl that didn’t deserve it and I’m not speaking up.”

Shoskamika Risper is Mikayla’s mom. Sadly, Mikayla isn’t the only child she’s lost. The Akron mom lost her 16-year-old daughter to a car crash in 2017 and her infant daughter to SIDS in 2018.

“I’ll probably never have any more daughters,” admitted Risper. “I have my baby though my son and he’s nice and healthy. He’s kind of giving me a little bit of strength but we still think about Mikayla every day. Not a second goes by that we don’t think about her.”

The family says it’s been more than a year since they’ve heard anything from detectives.

“I’m mad at hell,” said Williams. “I’m upset that my cousin had to die like that, and it seems like they say they care but to me, they don’t because they would do something more, there has to be something more I’m sorry, they’re not doing their jobs.”

They are all fed up.

“It’s been two years and we haven’t heard, not even that we have a suspect,” said James Davis, Mikayla’s great uncle. “They’ve told us nothing. I’m very very highly upset you know what I’m saying because that was one of my little favorite nieces.”

The family said until Mikayla’s case is closed, they will keep protesting and fighting for justice

“We’re not gonna have a 10-year or 20-year cold case for our KK,” said Natashia Stevens, Mikayla’s cousin. “We’re not gonna have that.”

It’s not clear who the intended target was at the birthday party.

Summit County Crimestoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron police detectives at 330-375-2490.

You can also call Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS. Callers can remain anonymous.