Fourteen-year-old Kai Leigh Harriott is paralyzed from the chest down, the result of a stray bullet that hit her when she was three.
She was sitting outside on her porch in Dorchester, Massachusetts with her older sister Aja David, who was babysitting at the time.
The family is still dealing with the aftermath of the shooting a decade later.
Two years after Kai was shot, the family appeared at the shooter’s court hearing. Here, Kai, Aja, and their mother, Tonya David, remember what was said on the stand.
Click here for the transcript.
It was a gunshot. Someone was shooting not at us but in our direction. I just was thinking about my little sister and I grabbed her and we went inside and I laid her down on the ground. And when I turned her to the side, I saw a ring of blood just in the center of, of her back. It had soaked its way into the jacket that I had put on her.
And um, she just said, “I want mommy.” And I said, you know I love you right"? At fourteen it was drilled in me, like that's your family you don't let anything happen to your sisters.
Kai Harriott (KH): Yeah. I don't really remember anything. But, I was paralyzed and a few years later I found a card that you wrote me when I was in the hospital. And It was a card with you blaming yourself. And how you, you were sorry that you didn't protect me.
For you to blame yourself there's no need for that. Like, sometimes I blame myself like you know, “You're a three year old. You should have been asleep. Like, what are you doing up?” But you have to realize that it wasn't your fault.
AD: Well I don't know, I think when I was younger when I blamed myself, but now I understand that I'm not to blame. You know, I was only 14 and you're now the age that I was when that happened to our family.
KH: You know, since that day we've always had a tight bond, and I feel as if I'm your guardian angel and you’re mine.
Kai Leigh Harriott (KH): When I got on stand to say what I had to say, I mean it was very intense 'cause I was very little and everybody was waiting for what I had to say.
But I said um, "Anthony Warren, what you did to me was wrong, but I still forgive you."
Tonya David (TD): And instead of facing the judge, he turned behind him and he spoke directly to us. He said, "Miss David, when I look at Kai, I see my own daughter."
I said, "You know what?" and I put my hand out to shake his hand, and he pulled me in for a hug.