Her friend, Alexis Joyner, wore a black T-shirt that read, “R.I.P. Sis Forever In My Heart.”
Her mentor, Shanna Jefferson, stood by the gravesite with tears in her eyes and reflected on Shakanah’s birthday last year, the one they celebrated over a meal at Ruby Tuesday.
“I never would have thought that it would have been the last birthday we spent together,” said Jefferson, who saved the receipt from Ruby Tuesday as a keepsake.
Nearly a year has passed since Shakanah died in a drive-by shooting in Durham. An unintended target, she was standing outside May 10, 2011, when someone opened fire from a passing van.
Police say the murder investigation is active, but the case remains unsolved.
“Some people say it was gang bangin’ … I don't care what it was over,” said Shakanah's mother, Demetriss China.
“I just want justice to be served. She’ll be 14 years old today, and she’s not here. People ask me, ‘will I forgive?’ No, I won't forgive – for nothing in the world. Next month will be a year. I can't forgive ... No, I can't forgive you.”
Here are moments captured from Shakanah’s gravesite at Glenview Cemetery in Durham on Monday, April 9.
India Parker, 14, above, exchanged text messages with Shakanah several minutes before the shooting. “She told me how much she loved me, that she was going to be here for me no matter what through thick and thin,” India said. “It’s kind of hard to believe that she is gone.”
Shakanah China’s grave at Glenview Cemetery. She is buried beside her grandmother.
Anyone with information about the Shakanah China case is asked to call Durham Police Investigator Pate at (919) 560-4440 ext. 29332 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases. Callers do not have to identify themselves.