TAMPA, Fla. — On Sunday afternoon, community members marched the streets of East Tampa in honor of 4-year-old Suni Bell. Tampa Police say Suni was shot and killed last week in a drive-by shooting, and the shooter is still on the run.
“I miss Suni dearly, very dearly. I raised her. That’s my grand baby. I love her to death. And I just want justice,” said Brenia Harrison, Suni’s grandmother.
Her family and the community are not backing down until they get justice. The local Neighborhood Boxing League organized Sunday’s march as part of their “Guns Down Gloves Up” movement.
“You get tired of people crying, you get tired of saying 'Rest In Peace,' you just get sick of it,” said Juda Hicks, the owner of Neighborhood Boxing League.
That’s why Hicks started the movement. In an effort to encourage people to express their anger and frustration in a different way.
“He takes all of the community, and the young men and they get together and they box out frustration. Learning how to take their frustration inside of a ring, and use it with technique and not with anger,” said Pastor Elvis Piggott with Triumph Church of Tampa Bay.
They believe ending the violence in East Tampa starts within the community.
“Listen, I have did 17 funerals in the pandemic and none was from COVID. Young men shot down and young men that’s not over 30-years-old. And we’re no longer celebrating 30-year-old birthdays anymore. Our community is in trouble,” said Pastor Piggott.
They’re urging members of the community to hold each other accountable, and members of the Tampa Police Department say that’s what it’s going to take
“It’s their community, they’ve got to take it back. We always say, we have 1,000 of us, there’s 400,000 residents in the city. They’re gonna see things and hear about crime quicker than we will, we need their help to solve crime,” said Tampa Police Assistant Chief Ruben Delgado.
They’re asking anyone with information on Suni’s case to come forward.
“I’ve just been down. I just want you guys to find justice. I just want justice for my baby, that’s it,” said Mary Harrison, Suni’s mother.
Tampa Bay Crime Stoppers is offering a $9,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person involved. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at report anonymously online or send a mobile tip using their P3 Tips mobile application, which is a free download for iOS and Android.