Fort Worth

Vigil for slain 14-year-old held to 'heal a community that's been hurting'

Nearly two dozen people gathered at the entrance of the Sycamore Villa Apartment complex in south Fort Worth on Thursday to heal a community racked by the death of of a teenage girl.

Nylah Lightfoot, age 14, died May 29 from stab wounds to the neck and chest after an altercation with a 13-year-old girl, according to Fort Worth police. The suspect is being held in custody while she awaits trial.

Members of the Brotherhood, an umbrella organization whose members gather to support events to uplift the community, played music, cooked food and shared time with residents of the complex, all in an effort to show love to the community, according to Angelico McKinney, a Brotherhood member.

"We're here trying to heal a community that's been hurting," McKinney said. "We've been hurt for so long we're probably numb to what's going on in our communities now. We just wanted to give the kids some free hot dogs and let them know that we care."

The mother of the victim, Anntoinette Carter, made a brief appearance at the meeting but left without making any statements.

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Community resident Jessie Ivy, left, prays with and for Anntoinette Carter, mother of Nylah Lightfoot, at a vigil for the slain teen held at the Sycamore Center Villas apartments in south Fort Worth on Thursday evening, June 7, 2018. Lightfoot, age 14, was fatally stabbed May 29 at the apartment complex. The suspect is a 13-year-old girl who was an acquaintance. Ian McVea Special to the Star-Telegram

One week earlier while standing outside the juvenile court where the suspect was detained following a hearing before the judge, Carter said that the argument between the two girls started when the suspect asked to spend the night at the mother's house and she said "no."

The suspect asked Lightfoot to come to her house and get her clothes and the two girls got into an argument, Carter said. The argument led to a fight, which Lightfoot won, but the suspect retaliated with a knife, Carter said.

The suspect and Lightfoot were off-and-on friends, Carter said.

Another Brotherhood member, Romalice Brumfield, 49, of Fort Worth, said he was in attendance to help try and find a way to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again.

"We're trying to find a solution to a problem," Brumfield said. "We want to show unity and solidarity and show our children we care."

Alcee Criss Jr., 62, of Lillian, said he wanted to see adults be more proactive and care more about their neighbors.

"It's about loving God, loving yourself and loving other people," said Criss, a Fort Worth pastor. "If you loved your brother you wouldn't be killing them. If you loved your children you'd go to the PTA meeting to find out what's going on with my baby and why isn't my baby performing like everyone else."

This story contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3
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