DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — Out of her 19 grandkids, Brenda Scott said 14-year-old Kyra Scott looked like her the most. That's why they called each other "my twin."
On the inside, they were similar, too, sharing a passion for shopping and love for family.
“She used to tell her siblings that she hoped all the family would stay together forever," Brenda said. "She loved her family, but most importantly, her family loved her.”
In fact, Brenda remembers spoiling her during a recent shopping spree.
"I called Kyra into my bedroom and I gave her $20. I said Kyra, grandmama don't have any money, so don't tell the other girls," Brenda remembered. "She said 'Okay, grandma'. As soon as they got in the car she spilled the beans, 'grandma gave me money told me not to tell y'all', and they started laughing."
Two days after Thanksgiving, Brenda was shopping with her three daughters when one of them got a devastating phone call.
"I didn't like the look on her face," she recalled. "I said what’s wrong, what's wrong, what's wrong? It took them about 10 minutes before they told me that there was an accident and that Kyra had been shot. Instantly, I knew she was gone."
They all gathered strength and drove to a hospital in Douglasville. Kyra's aunt, Angela Berry, said they waited there for hours getting updates on how the teenager was doing.
"We drove so fast to Douglasville. Police were standing up in the hospital doors, they wouldn’t let anybody in and they wouldn't tell us anything. We didn't even know she was already gone," Angela said.
The family said they were first told Kyra was shot during an attempted home robbery.
While rushing her to the hospital, her family stopped at a gas station to get help. The frantic situation played out at a Marathon gas station on Stewart Mill Road.
“I do want to know what the truth is... whether we can deal with it or not," said Angela. "It’s tragic because accidental or not, it's sad.”
Arrests have been made in connection to the fatal shooting.
According to an 11Alive source and the family, Kyra's 13-year-old brother is now in custody, as is a 19-year-old. According to the Douglas County Sentinel, the suspect is being charged with murder, as is another 19-year-old.
“This baby was taken in a bad way," said Angela. "Now it's more tragedy on top of this."
While the family said the Douglas County Sheriff's Office hasn't offered many details, they are focusing on keeping Kyra's memory alive.
“She liked to dance with her two left feet," Brenda remembered while giggling out loud. "Her older sister is the head dancer at her school and they were very close. They used to always have little dance competitions.”
Her family said Kyra was a freshman at Lithia Springs High School. The family had recently moved to Douglasville from Gwinnett County.
On Tuesday, the Douglas County School System released a statement, expressing sadness over Scott's death.
Trent North, the system's superintendent said:
The Douglas County School System is devastated by the recent loss of one of our students. This student was a valued member of our family and will be deeply missed.
This loss has shocked and saddened our learning community. For students, this loss has been unbearable. Monday morning, we activated our Crisis Response Team. The team’s presence on campus ensured students had access to the mental health resources needed during this difficult time. This team of specially trained counselors, school psychologists, social workers, and school administrators will continue to support students as needed. Professional School Counselors will also be available throughout the school year to provide students comfort and reassurance.
The next few days and weeks will be particularly challenging for our community. But as the Douglas County community has many times before, we will be there for each other. We will comfort and encourage each other. Our school system will stand firm and continue supporting those impacted by the tragedy as we navigate through this difficult time.
The teen, who loved to design, just turned 14 in August. She had two sisters and two brothers.
"She's gonna be greatly missed," said Brenda. "She had the biggest heart. This is just devastating shock for the whole family."
A candlelight vigil has been planned for Kyra Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the back parking lot of 755 Braves Avenue, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30042.
They are asking people who attend to wear "red, aqua, green, or turquoise", and to bring a candle and balloons. The family is also raising funds to help her mother send her off the right way.
“She is a mother of limited means and you never think you're going to have the bury your children," said Angela. "I do want her to have a dignified burial. She deserves that.”
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