Vigil held for wounded 8-year-old girl

MORGANTOWN — More than 50 people gathered Saturday at Mylan Park Elementary in a vigil for Chloey Neely, an 8-year-old girl who was shot in the head when a gun went off in her home.
“We’re here to offer prayer, sing as humans and lift her in spirit,” organizer Tonya Hawkins said.
Hawkins, a friend of the family, said Neely is in a medically induced coma and in critical condition at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. Hospital officials did not confirm her condition in time for
this report.
According to MECCA 911 dispatchers, a 9mm hollow-point round went through a wall and struck the girl behind the right ear Friday night.
“It might bring a little brightness to her,” Neely’s grandmother Tina Nichols said of the vigil.
She said the show of support was beautiful and overwhelming.
Betty Nichols, Neely’s great-grandmother, said it’s been really heard for the family lately. The girl’s dad, C.J. Neely, passed away
July 6 and her grandfather James Harper was buried Thursday.
“I keep asking myself how much she can take,” Betty said of Chloey’s mother, Kristie.
Teachers and friends unanimously described Chloey as a sweet girl.
“She has a very good heart,” 9-year-old Gracelyn Efaw said.
Efaw said she cheers with Chloey and knows her from school. She said her mother told her about the accident Saturday morning and said they needed to keep the family in their prayers.
She said she hopes Chloey feels better.
“Chloey is special, vibrant and beautiful,” Christina Pizatella, one of her second-grade teachers, said. “We support, love and pray for her and we’re here in any way they need.”
Hawkins said she is organizing a fundraiser and meal plan for the family so that Kristie can focus on what’s most important — her daughter.
Kristie was not at the vigil, but Hawkins said she would tell her about the support everyone showed and make sure all their wishes got back to her.
Anyone who is interested in helping the family should reach out on Facebook or call her at 304-290-2251, she said.
Pastor Junius Lewis, of Greater Love Family Outreach Ministries, started the vigil with a prayer before leading the attendees in “Amazing Grace.”
Several people cried as they sang.
“When tragedy occurs, good people need to gather together like you did tonight,” he said.
He said he had no doubt that Chloey would pull through with God’s help and he was praising God as if the miracle had already happened.

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