DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The family of a 9-year-old North Texas girl was preparing to send her off for the first day of school, instead they are laying her to rest today.
Funeral services are being held this morning for Brandoniya Bennett. The little girl was shot and killed after a police say a teenaged rapper, upset about a "diss track" by another rapper, recklessly opened fire at an apartment complex in Old East Dallas. At least one bullet went through the wall of the wrong apartment and hit Brandoniya as she sat on the sofa.
Hundreds of people showed up for Brandoniya's wake Thursday evening. The little girl, who would have been a 4th grader this month, was a cheerleader -- so in addition to her classmates, members of the elementary school football team filled the funeral home.
Football coach Leland Lloyd said,"She was one of the young ladies I took home... and that young lady she had a lot of energy. She could really dance. She's like light to the room."
Brandoniya's death sent shockwaves through the city, with calls for more to be done to fight violent crime. Sparked in part by the little girl's death, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson will spend part of today meeting with a newly formed task force whose purpose is to offer suggestions on how to reduce violent crime in the city.
No police officers are on The Mayor's Task Force on Safe Communities. When forming the group Johnson asked the civilian-only panel to detail "holistic and data-driven solutions for communities disproportionately affected by violent crime."
A crime-ridden section of northeast Dallas is also getting help from the federal government. As a part of 'Project Safe Neighborhoods' a $700,000 grant is going to various Dallas organizations to fund programs, and help law enforcement and community groups as they work to recognize, deter and combat crime.
The funeral for Brandoniya Bennett is being held at New Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas.
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