HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Hundreds of people gathered in Hopewell for a vigil, remembering P’Aris Moore, an 8-year-old girl who was tragically shot and killed in a drive-by shooting last week.
Shortly before 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, P’Aris was outside playing with her cousins on Freeman Street. According to police, a silver four-door sedan drove by and a single gunshot was fired, hitting the young girl in the chest.
There were a total of nine homicides in 2022, according to the Hopewell Police Department. A spokesperson said it was the most violent year in over two decades.
“She was the lit one. All she wanted to do was have a good time. My baby said ‘auntie I’m about to turn nine. No more little eight, I’m about to turn big nine,'” the young girl’s aunt told the crowd at the vigil.
The vigil was held on Tuesday, Jan. 3, a day that would have been P’Aris’ 9th birthday. Although there was a communal showing of strength and love for P’Aris, a feeling of disappointment for an at-large killer clouded this event.
Balloons and lit candles on a day that should’ve been for rejoicing and celebration were instead used for mourning.
After an emotional day, everyone took the time to do something P’Aris loved most — doing dances from TikTok.
P’Aris’ funeral will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7, in Petersburg.
A local business owner offered a $500 reward for information leading to the killer’s arrest but by the end of the event, community members had brought that number to $4,000.
Anyone with information on the shooting is encouraged to contact the Hopewell Police Department at 804-541-2284.