Father mourns 5-month-old killed in drive-by shooting

Last Updated Oct 10, 2015 8:39 PM EDT

It was a crime so unimaginable it left Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams at a loss for words. "It's tough ... it's tough. This shouldn't be happening in our city."

Five-month-old Aavielle Wakefield is the third child killed by a gun in Cleveland in the last month. Hundreds paid their respects at her funeral on Thursday.

Father mourns 5-month-old killed in drive-by shooting

"Never did I wake up thinking that was going to be my last day seeing her," Aavielle's father Charles Wakefield said. "I am speechless about it. You know it touched a nation of people. For a child that was born to the world that nobody knew, everybody now loves."

Aavielle's death adds to a spiking gun-related homicide rate in Cleveland, up 22 percent since 2014.

"I know a lot of people say that guns are for protection, but a gun is like having a chip on your shoulder," Wakefield said. "You say certain things in a certain way to people that you wouldn't if you weren't armed."

More than a dozen other cities are seeing a spike in gun deaths, including St. Louis, which has become the murder capital of the country. Homicides by guns are up 51 percent, according to St. Louis prosecutor Jennifer Joyce.

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"This is a very complex problem. There is no silver bullet, pardon the pun, to solve gun violence. Not in St. Louis, not anywhere," Joyce said. Her office launched a website to help tell the stories of the victims and offenders.

"I think mass shootings, as concerning and troubling as they are, tend to get a lot of the focus when we talk about gun violence, as opposed to the day to day shootings in our cities that are really piling up a lot more in terms of body count," Joyce said.

As for Wakefield, he knows he won't be the last parent to experience the grief of losing a child to gun violence.

"I hate to say this but ... it's going to be somebody else."