MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 100 people attended a vigil in Florida City for the 13-year-old girl police say was killed by her brother.
The crowd at one point surrounded Teddra King's parents and prayed for strength.
Teddra, known as "Rosie," was killed by her 17-year-old half-brother Martaevious Santiago, according to Miami-Dade police.
"My daughter was everything. She was my first child," said Tedrick King, Teddra's father. "She was just that sweet little child that everybody loved when she was small. Everybody loved her."
According to a police report, Santiago claims he was playing around with Teddra on his birthday and shot her by accident. Teddra's biological father believes him.
"I know from the bottom of my heart that he loved his sister and that he would never do anything to his sister intentionally," said King.
Santiago, who admitted in an article written by WLRN that he'd been involved with gangs, was charged with aggravated manslaughter. He's being held in secure detention until his next hearing.
"As far as him being charged with her death, I don't agree with it because he's been punished enough by the fact that he knows what he did," said King.
Seven other children who lived in the home were removed after the crime by the Department of Children and Families.
During a hearing held Thursday, a judge ruled the children could stay with family members under DCF supervision.
"I am choked up. I hope to get the kids back as soon as possible," said Vernon Williams, the biological father of five of the children.
As this family deals with a tragedy on so many levels, the father of the girl who died says he prays for her accused shooter.
"Like I said, it wasn't intentional so it's eating him up so deep on the inside that it gonna bother him for the rest of his life. Every time his birthday comes around, he'll never enjoy his birthday again," said King.
The family says Teddra's funeral will be held on Saturday, May 6th.
Santiago has a court hearing scheduled May 17th.
for more features.