A 22-year-old woman is dead after a shooting at an apartment complex in West Philadelphia, according to police.
It happened just after 2 a.m. at the West Park Apartments along the 4000 block of Holden Street. Police were called to the scene where they say they found the body of a woman, identified as Zykia Sanders, lying on the ground unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound to the back. Sanders was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she was pronounced dead at 2:35 a.m.
Credit: Family Photo
The family of Sanders tells NBC10 she was a student at the University of Phoenix majoring in business and was due to graduate next year. Sanders was staying with her grandmother who had been ill.
"She was just being there for grandma," said Zykia's grandmother Barbara Sanders while in tears. "She'd do anything for grandma. That was my first granddaughter. My heart is broken."
The family says she went to a party in a nearby high-rise building and was killed while walking back home, according to her relatives. The family claims she was an innocent bystander.
"I heard the shots at 2:30," said Barbara. "I looked out my window and I heard everybody running saying, 'Oh my God, Zykia got shot!' Then the officer came. When he came to my door he said, 'I'm sorry, she didn't make it.'"
"Zykia had such a bubbly personality," said Helen Sanders, Zykia's cousin. "She was so fun to be around. She had no children. She didn't bring any stress or drama to the family."
The family plans to make funeral arrangements. They also say they believe Zykia's killer will be caught soon.
"The violence has to stop in the city," said Shakoor Sanders, Zykia's uncle. "Young people, we have to really take command of our communities and stop the senseless stuff."
Witnesses tell police that Sanders' killer fled the scene in a car. Police are checking local businesses for surveillance video tape.
On Sunday around 6 p.m., friends and family gathered at the scene of the crime for a candlelight vigil in Zykia's honor.
"Everybody loved her," said Shameka Stewart, Zykia's friend. "Everybody knew her from each building. We loved her. It's like a nightmare. I just keep wishing that I could wake up."