FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) - A manhunt was "on" Wednesday night for the killer of a Jamyla Bolden, 9, in Ferguson.
Her loved ones tell FOX2, “She was on her mother's bed doing her homework when someone outside started firing into the house around 9:30 Tuesday night, loved ones said.
Her mother was also wounded.
The victims' loved ones believed investigators have identified a suspect, but there was no word on an arrest.
The gunman likely meant to target another house, loved ones said.
So awful was the news, it might seem nothing could make it worse.
Yet the more people learned about Jamyla, this most-sickening of crimes somehow got even tougher to stomach.
“Phenomenal student; so positive. Her energy was second to none. All of those things you hear about a great kid, serve as adjectives for her,” said Howard Fields, principal of Koch Elementary in the Riverview Gardens School District where Bolden just started the 4th grade.
“We have to keep thinking about the blessed opportunity we had to encounter her presence,” said Teressa Kindle, Bolden’s teacher. “Everyone knew her drive for success: academic success, behavioral success, any success – kickball success, jump rope success,” she smiled.
She said her classmates referred to each other as brothers and sister.
Jamylah’s own cousin is one of those classmates.
She’d just left Jamylah Tuesday night. They’d been to a friend’s birthday party.
A short time later, someone started shooting into Jamyla’s home the 9200 block of Ellison, police said.
Jamyla’s mother suffered bullet wounds to her legs.
Jamyla’s grandmother held her and told her to keep breathing; police desperately trying to save her. They couldn’t.
So, Wednesday morning, there was the unexpected emptiness in Jamyla’s classroom, an unfillable void. The school district’s “care team” of grief counselors and social workers guided the children through the day.
“There was sadness, confusion. We don’t think we won’t see our classmate that sits right next to us,” Kindle said.
A color chart on the white board challenges the kids to be beyond “good”, even beyond “great”.
Jamyla wanted to make to the top “blue” portion of the chart – which was labeled “perfect”.
There was comfort knowing she’d already made it.
One boy said he was happy he at least got to know her for as long as he did.
“I’m grateful for the time I spent with Jamyla. I’ll never forget it and I’m forever grateful,” Kindle said.
“We have a slogan right outside when you come into our building that says ‘do better than your best’. You determine how far you can go, no one else. She is an individual who exemplified that every single day,” Fields said.
Jamyla's was released from a hospital Wednesday morning.
If you have any information about this case, call Ferguson police at 314-522-3100.