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Mother Of Slain Mount Vernon Teen Basketball Star Loses Home To Fire

Fire tore through the home of the mother of Shamoya McKenzie in Mount Vernon.
Fire tore through the home of the mother of Shamoya McKenzie in Mount Vernon. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

Barely more than a year removed from the fatal shooting of Shamoya McKenzie , her family suffered another devastating loss.

A weekend fire at a multi-family home on Vernon Avenue left 12 Mount Vernon residents displaced, including Nadine McKenzie, the mother of Shamoya, who was shot and killed on New Year’s Eve last year in broad daylight.

Officials said that the fire broke out around 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, when the house was filled with smoke and an evacuation was necessitated. According to Mount Vernon officials, photos and other mementos of the 13-year-old McKenzie were among the items that were able to be salvaged by residents. It was not clear if the residents could return to the home.

In an effort to assist the family, a GoFundMe fundraising campaign has been set up, raising more than $1,200 of its stated $25,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve last year, McKenzie was a passenger in the car when she was struck in the head by a stray bullet that was allegedly intended for another man involved in gang activity. McKenzie was transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead. A second victim was also struck in the shooting, suffering non-life threatening injuries.

A basketball star for both the Mount Vernon Junior Knights, Lady Elites and the High School JV Lady Knights, McKenzie had dreams of attending the University of Connecticut to play under coach Geno Auriemma before making her way to the WNBA.

Thomas said that the suspect, David Hardy was a seasonal employee for the city, and his position was terminated in December 2016 after he failed to show up for his assignment. He was hired by a former administrator, who is no longer working for the city.

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