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'They didn't deserve this': Community holds vigil for 2 girls killed in Killeen

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Posted at 11:32 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 22:00:51-04

KILLEEN, Texas — On the ground, there are dozens of pinwheels laid out across the front line of one Killeen home.

Standing tall, they serve to honor the memory of Alyssa and Makayla, two cousins that became the victims of gun violence this Saturday.

“They didn't deserve this, these babies didn’t deserve what happened to them," said Alyssa’s grandfather.

"Their life just got started and they were happy babies."

Many in Killeen are still in tears after learning of the girl's final moments.

“I know she’s in a better place," said Makayla’s father.

"I know she’ll look down on us forever."

Monday night, neighbors held a candlelight vigil in front of the victim’s home, decorating the front with pinwheels to remember the girls.

“On that day, our community got to asking what we were gonna do," said Vigil Organizer Janalynn.

"How can we contribute and let everyone know that we got this family."

Eingrett and Jesse Davis, neighbors and longtime friends to the families, have since raised nearly $15,000 so far via GoFundMe.

“There are two children that gonna be buried out of state, so that’s gonna cost a lot of money," said Davis.

"There's also medical bills to be taken care of."

Makayla’s father and Alyssa’s grandfather both thanked the community for their support.

They said the mothers of the two girls wanted to be there, but were struggling too deeply with grief and pain.

The men are asking everyone to keep the mothers uplifted in prayer.

Killeen police have since arrested and charged 39-year-old Kendrick Donnell Gaines with Capital Murder and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

His bond has been set at $2.5 million.