‘Don’t play with guns. That is not cute or funny’: Peers and family remember Da’nija Miller

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Dozens gathered at Piedmont Elementary Wednesday wearing purple and silver at a vigil for Da’nija Miller.

Friends say purple was Da’nija’s favorite color.

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the 14-year-old’s homicide that happened over the weekend.

Many at the vigil were young teens, just like Da’nija Miller was, who are still processing the sudden loss of their friend to gun violence.

“She was one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known from a kid and she was able to interact with adults on a level that most kids couldn’t,” said Miller’s West Side Middle School teacher Amy McElhaney.

“She was really open-minded, she was really cool to be around, whenever I was with her we’d just laugh nonstop about anything,” said Charnesta White, Miller’s best friend.

Other ways her peers described Miller at her vigil were: beautiful, spunky, and a girl who studied Christ.

But beneath the many accolades for Miller was a very real message of the threat of gun violence.

“Kids! I do not ever want to stand over your coffin!,” said Martece Washington.

“You got me saying wake up wake up, I’m not playing; the world’s not getting any better around here,” said Miller’s uncle.

“Please don’t play with guns. That is not cute or funny…” said White.

There are still many unanswered questions about Miller’s death.

She was seen during her last moments singing on a Snapchat video before gunshots are heard in the background.

Her middle school teacher says she’s been to so many funerals for kids, it’s really taken a toll on her.

“Most of these times they’re boys, to be honest with you who end up in this situation but this time it was a girl, this time it’s truthfully made me reconsider my career,” said McElhaney.

Speaking exclusively with 13 News on Wednesday, Da’nija Miller’s mother Sierra Miller said she and her family are still seeking justice.

“She was having problems with some kids and one of them had already said he was going to kill her,” she said.

Kanawha County Deputies did arrest three minors after the shooting but later let them go.

There was no new information to be released about the case Wednesday.

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