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Aliah Johnson, Shot And Killed In Point Breeze, Remembered As 'A Rose Growing Up Through The Concrete'

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A teenager who was tragically killed is still being mourned by her family.

Police said 17-year-old Aliah Johnson was killed when her boyfriend's gun went off as he was putting it down.

Aliah Johnson
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Her family is still coping at this time. They are in their first holiday season with an empty chair at the table.

"My great-niece was well accomplished in many ways at Gateway High School, in her community," Johnson's great-uncle Sir Diego Brazil said.

The junior was a member of the McKeesport Girls Softball League and was involved in the community empowerment program in the Mon Valley.

"It is unfortunate that a young life like that with so much potential had been ended with such tragedy, carelessness and recklessness," Brazil said.

According to Pittsburgh police, she was killed on Nov. 20. Officials said her boyfriend, 16-year-old Emeka Moye-King, was showing her his handgun. As he put it down with his finger on the trigger, it fired.

"There's nothing to play about a gun. If you want to play, go play sports, go play a game," Brazil said.

KDKA has learned from police that the gun was illegally obtained. No parent or guardian got the firearm for Moye-King. He faces charges of criminal homicide and possession of a firearm by a minor.

Brazil said he will never forget the call he received after Johnson was killed.

"As time evolved that Sunday, family members were calling. People wanted to know what was coming out. It had hit the media. It was horrific, just a nightmare," he said.

The family celebrated her life just a few days after Thanksgiving. Brazil said his niece didn't have the easiest life, but her legacy was overcoming adversity.

"She still ended up being a butterfly in the midst of this challenging world," Brazil said. "A rose growing up through the concrete. Determined in spite of the challenges around her, in spite of the people trying to make her feel less than."

According to Johnson's obituary, she leaves behind eight brothers and sisters. Her great-uncle said the family is looking at creating a foundation in her name.

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