Mom wants justice for shooting death of 16-year-old daughter nearly 2 years ago
FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas - A mother in Fort Bend County wants justice after the shooting death of her daughter nearly two years ago.
16-year-old Aniya Raye Gary-Tyler was shot and killed in June 2021. Family members and investigators know who pulled the trigger, but he still hasn’t been arrested.
"This is very difficult for the entire family, her mother, her father. We are literally going through hell. So he needs to be locked up. He's walking around free, spending time with his family and his kids after he took their child," says Aniya’s Aunt Rahonda Gary.
So the family gathered outside the Fort Bend County Justice Center hoping they will soon have their day in court.
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"I’m just ready for this to be done. People don’t know what I go through. I struggle daily. My heart is broken," says Aniya’s mom LaToya Gary while choking back tears. That heartbreak started for the grieving mother when her 16-year-old daughter was shot to death inside their home in Rosenberg when an older young man from the neighborhood unexpectedly came over with a gun.
"I don’t think it was an accident. From what I was told, he pulled the trigger once, it jammed, and he pulled it again," explains the mom in mourning.
"Why did he bring the gun to her home?" asks Aniya’s aunt Dominique Spears. "Aniya asked him multiple times to leave because he was not wanted, especially there with guns. She said I don’t play like that and what did he do? He shot her center mass with that gun. That was no accident. (What type of gun was it?) It was an A.R.15 Assault Rifle."
"She’s not going to be able to go to prom. She’s supposed to graduate this year. She’s not going to be at her graduation. She’s not going to be able to get married. She’s not going to be able to have kids. You took that from her. You took that from us," says Aunt Rahonda.
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The man who shot Aniya posted on social media saying he eventually turned himself into the police and was released. According to the Rosenberg Police Department, he was indicted by a grand jury in June 2022. The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office says it can "neither confirm nor deny charges in this case."
Court records show seven months prior to the shooting, in November 2020 this same man was charged with Aggravated Assault of a Date/Household Member/Family Member with a Weapon with Serious Bodily Injury. Shortly after that case was disposed of in January 2021, detectives say he shot Aniya in June 2021, but he still isn’t arrested.
"What’s taking so long? What’s the hold up," asks Aunt Rahonda.
"We want justice for her murder. (And justice for the family would be a charge of murder?) A charge of murder. Nothing less," Spears adds.
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"My daughter was beautiful. She was an angel. She loved God and her connection with God was strong so that gives me some peace. She’s our loved one. They may not understand because she’s not theirs, but she’s ours, and we just want justice," says Aniya’s mom.
The family's Pastor Apostle D. Cobbin Sr. of Newday Ministries says, "She was very active in ministry. Anyone with any information pertaining to Aniya's death please contact authorities, so this family can find closure."
The family says if the man has talked about the shooting to someone and those details are turned over to detectives, perhaps he will be arrested.
A Go Fund Me Justice For Aniya page has been set up.
Aniya’s loved ones say they don’t know how they will begin to heal until the person who shot and killed her is arrested.