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.
"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.
"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."