The Crusader Newspaper Group

Family seeks help to pay for De’Kayla’s funeral

Chicago Crusader staff report

The family of a 15-year-old De’Kayla Dansberry has set up a GoFundMe page online to help pay for her funeral.

Relatives set a goal to raise $7,000. So far, $3,320 has been collected.

Meanwhile, the balloons and teddy bears in front of the Parkway Gardens continue to draw visitors on 65th Street and South King Drive.

A violent fight here on Saturday, May 14 left 15-year-old De’Kayla, a high-achieving high school student, dead. Her alleged murderer is only 13 years old. Because she is a minor, police won’t release her name, but her mother, 35-year-old Tamika Gayden could also go to jail for allegedly participating in a crime that has stunned many residents in Woodlawn.

Three days later, Gayden and her daughter on Tuesday, May 17, were charged with first-degree murder for killing De’Kayla, whom family and friends describe as an intelligent student who had a bright future. A popular track star at Johnson College Prep, De’Kayla had a 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Now, her family is planning her funeral.

Police say the 13-year-old fatally stabbed De’Kayla during a fight at the entrance of e Parkway Gardens, a sprawling apartment complex that had few violent crimes before Saturday’s incident. The complex is located across the street from the Chicago Crusader office.

It’s not clear what started the fight, but the 13-year-old was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday in Juvenile court. She was held in police custody where she will remain until a hearing June 7. The girl’s public defender said her client is a seventh-grader who doesn’t have a criminal background.

Hours later, police said her mother, Gayden, was charged with murder and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

De’Kayla’s mother, Sheila Dansberry, attended the hearing and later spoke to the media outside the courthouse.

“A 13-year-old girl. I don’t know what to say. It’s just devastating,” Dansberry said. “But the parent was supposed to (have) handed her the knife, so she’s locked up, too, and that’s good.”

De’Kayla’s killing comes as thousands prepare to attend a major peace rally at 79th Street and Greenwood Avenue. Called “Prayer on the 9” Senior Pastor John F. Hannah and the New Life Covenant Church Southeast will lead the demonstration starting at 10 a.m. The rally is expected to be bigger than last year’s as more organizations join the march for peace. Hannah said the turnout is needed to call attention to the alarming increase in shootings this year.

Participants are asked to wear red clothing to symbolize the blood that has been shed by victims of gun violence.




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