Grieving mother marks 1-year anniversary of daughter’s death: ‘She’s missed’

Local News

RICHMOND, Va., (WRIC) — It’s been one year since a Chesterfield woman was shot and killed in her car at a stoplight on Richmond’s Southside. 

Kristy Burrus-Clay honored the life of her daughter, Krissia Henderson Burrus, during a vigil Sunday. Burrus-Clay, who works to prevent gun violence in the community, said the memorial “commemorates her life.”

“It reflects how much she’s missed,” she added.

A memorial stone now sits at the tree where Krissia Henderson Burrus drew her final breaths. 

“I really wanted the public to know that this celebrates her end. It is a sorrowful occasion,” Burrus-Clay told 8News.

Krissia was driving with friends when she was shot at a traffic light on Hull Street on Aug. 25, 2018. The shooting sent her crashing into a tree near a McDonald’s. Krissia died the next morning. 

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Family and friends honored the Virginia Union University student’s life Sunday, in hopes of never forgetting the joy she brought them. 

“She was larger than a headstone,” Burrus-Clay said. “Her heart was larger than a headstone.”  

The stone will find a new home at VUU where Krissia was studying criminal justice. Her mother hopes students and faculty will appreciate the memorial. 

“I want them to not only see this but know her,” Burrus-Clay said. “Know her through my stories. Know her heart through my heart of giving back. Respect her loss.” 

Burrus-Clay will meet with a state senator Monday to start a program for students: “Youniquley You.”

“That program is a behavior shift because at the end of the day, it’s not the bullet that killed my daughter, ” Burrus-Clay said.  “It’s not the gun the bullet rested in that killed my daughter, it is behaviors behind the trigger finger.” 

It’s why Burrus-Clay says she’ll continue to fight to end gun violence as she continues to mourn the loss of her daughter.

“My daughter’s voice is expressed through me,” she said. “And I will continue to give her to others as I make her live.” 

This fall, Kristy will present a scholarship to a Panthers cheerleader and a criminal justice major at VUU in honor of her daughter.

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