Upstate family still searching for answers one year after teen k - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate family still searching for answers one year after teen killed outside Taylors Pavilion

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Makiya Hawkins (Source: Family) Makiya Hawkins (Source: Family)
GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Family, friends and the Taylors community still search for answers, one year after the death of 17-year-old Makiya Hawkins.

Greenville County deputies said Hawkins was caught in the crossfire of a gang-related shooting last May. According to deputies, Hawkins was an innocent bystander.

Hawkins was just weeks shy of graduating from Wade Hampton High School, and her family said she had plans to attend college in the fall. 

"It's a very emotional time just thinking that she missed out on graduation and missed out on her first year of college," Dr. Africa Coleman said, "Other kids that were there that night are experiencing these things that she should be experiencing as well."

Dr. Coleman said she has been a close friend of Makiya's family for many years, and has known her since she was a child.

She said Makiya's death has taken a toll on the entire community, but the hardest part is having no answers about who did it and why.

"Maybe if we had some closure as to what really happened and who actually did it, it wouldn't take away the pain, but it would feel a little better if justice has been served," said Dr. Coleman.

Makiya's aunt also agrees and pleads for anyone with information to come forward.

"It's really hard because we're fighting for answers and wanting to know who took her life, but nobody knows anything. No leads. Nothing," Chrystal McKenzie said.

Put Down the Guns Now Young People Organization hit the streets around the Pavilion on Tuesday, passing out flyers and asking for tips from people in the community.

"I thought about those parents who watched their sons and daughters graduate this week from various high schools across the country, and then I thought about Makiya's mother who also had hopes and dreams of watching her daughter graduate so I decided to pass out flyers today. I just want justice for Makiya," Jack Logan said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers at 23-CRIME. A $2000 reward is being offered by Crimestoppers, in addition to a private reward of $2500.

The Greenville County Sheriff's Office said they have no new leads or suspects at this time.

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