There was humility before God but also an undertone of anger Tuesday at a prayer vigil for Machole Stewart, the 10-year-old girl who was gunned down Sunday night in Kansas City, Kan.
Forest Grove Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan., was packed to the balcony with mourners and sympathizers who stood and applauded as speaker after speaker called for justice.
“The person who did this is no better than ISIS in Syria,” said the Rev. Vernon Debose, referring to the radical Islamic organization fighting in Syria and Iraq. “They are no better than the Taliban. They are no better than Osama bin Laden. Anybody who would gun down a 6-year-old or a 10-year-old is nothing but a terrorist.”
Machole’s mother, Angela Fowler, sat in the front pew with her 10-month-old daughter during the vigil. Charity Guinn, mother of 6-year-old Angel Hooper, who was shot and killed Oct. 17 in Kansas City, was also there.
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Both girls were killed by drive-by shooters.
The interim Kansas City, Kan., police chief, Ellen Hanson, said that police had received several tips about the latest shooting but that they were mostly about “just the edges of the case.” She said police need to hear from people with “firsthand knowledge.”
Hanson said that after nearly 40 years in law enforcement she has learned it is usually best not to take individual cases personally.
“(But) I look at the faces of my detectives and my officers who are working to solve this crime and I know that we all take it personally,” Hanson said. “You can’t help it.”