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Family of young girl shot in head two years ago says justice not coming fast enough

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 19:12:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Tishawn Nelson wants to be a nurse. Actually, the 10-year-old wants to be a nurse and a teacher.

"Because I like to help people," Tishawn said.

Her family celebrates every one of the young girl's milestones, such as her ability to walk without having to rely on a wheelchair. They also celebrate the fact that she can dream and look to the future — because at one point, her future looked unclear.

"She came a long way. A long way," her grandmother, Janice Slayden, said. "Out of a coma to not knowing how to do nothing, to doing something now."

On June 25, 2017, Tishawn was shot in the head at a playground in Kansas City near where the family used to live, Blue Valley Court Townhomes. A young boy brought a gun to the playground. Police said the boy tossed the gun to another boy, and it fell on the ground. The boy picked it up and he pulled the trigger, accidentally shooting Tishawn in the head.

The family wants someone held accountable for allowing a gun to land in the boy's hands.

Since that day two years ago, Tishawn's mother, Latisha Slayden, said the family hasn't received many updates on the case.

"They were looking for the person with the gun, that sold them the gun, and that's the last I heard," Latisha Slayden said. She said that update came last winter.

The detective who was previously on the case was moved to another assignment. The Kansas City Police Department said there are no updates, and the family can call the department's Homicide Unit to learn which detective is now working the case.

"I would like to see justice for her. She'll be a teenager pretty soon, and I want her heart to be just free," Janice Slayden said Tuesday.

These days, Tishawn is looking forward to hanging out with her cousins and going to the pool this summer.

Her family puts on a smile, trying their hardest to hang on. They realize police resources are likely going toward solving homicides and violent crimes, but they say there should be as much attention on survivors of gun incidents.

The family also wants to remind everyone to lock up their guns. Most police departments offer free gun locks to those who request one.