‘They are killing our babies’: Family of murdered Nashville 16-year-old makes emotional plea to stop the violence


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil Saturday night to remember 16-year-old Ja’Niya Birdsong, who was shot and killed last Sunday.  

Ja’Niya was shot and killed in the driveway of her grandmother’s home on Eckhart Drive in South Nashville. Police said a 17-year-old relative was also wounded when a dispute broke out between the two girls and several young men.  

On Saturday, her family came together with an emotional plea asking young people to put the guns down. News 2 spoke with Ja’Niya’s grandmother, who also lost Ja’Niya’s father to gun violence. 

“I don’t know what’s going on, but they just need to stop the violence and put the guns down because they are killing our babies and they are hurting our hearts very bad and she was only 16 years old; she hadn’t started to live yet,” paternal grandmother Valerie Perkins said.  

Ja’Niya was a junior at Hillsboro High School and hoped to become a hairstylist.  

Police have not identified any suspects but said they believe the shooter left in a light-colored sedan.  

If you have any information on the case, you’re asked to call Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.

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