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Vigil honors 6-year-old who died after shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Family and friends gathered Monday night at a park to remember a 6-year-old girl who was found shot last week at a Lake Forest home and died at a hospital.

The service honoring Nay’loni Fairley began at 6 p.m. at Stinson Park next to the Ortega Bridge.

Loved ones described Fairley as being full of life and having a passion for dance. She was one of 53 dancers at Shanequa’s Dazzling Dolls Dance Company in Springfield.

“Nay’loni danced with attitude. She was definitely like, ‘you’re looking at me and if you’re not you will be,’” said Shanequa Minnis, her dance coach. “She’d never chill, she’d never want to take a break. She’d always be like, ‘come on, coach.’”

50:00 Nay-loni was amazing

Her coach and teammates danced in her honor during the vigil.

“She’s gone but she’ll always be here with us at the end of the day,” said Eve Sanders, a teammate.

“Nay’Loni, if you’re up there watching over us, I love you so, so much,” said her dance teammate, Ahleena Hinton. “You’ll be my forever best friend.”

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Lt. J.D. Stronko said police were called to a home on Linda Drive off Lem Turner Road just before 7 a.m. Thursday after a person was shot. They found the girl, identified by family as Fairley, with a gunshot wound. She was taken by paramedics to a hospital, where she died from her injuries.

For now, JSO is investigating the case as an undetermined death.

Stronko said the child’s mother and two other children were home at the time of the shooting. The other children’s ages were not released.

It’s unclear how she was shot or who was holding the gun at the time, but it appears the gun that shot her belonged to one of her parents, Stronko said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Fairley’s family with funeral arrangements.

About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.