Nadje Steedley: Woman, 18, killed by stray bullet in West Philadelphia
Nadje Steedley was an 18-year-old woman who gave of herself constantly in Philadelphia. She volunteered at a local anti-violence group frequently. She was trying to make a difference. She was struck with a stray bullet in March 2016 in West Philadelphia. Police have no suspects.
"I didn't have to run after her, like, 'Did you do this yet? Did you do that yet?' She was determined to turn her life around," Taleah Taylor told WPVI-TV. Taylor helped organize a tribute to Steedley in which hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects.
"So I was determined that everybody came out to honor her today," Taylor told the TV station.
Taylor said that Steedley was a smart woman who wanted to give back to the community.
"[Nadje] immediately became interested in what I was doing with the stop the violence, the girls basketball teams, the regular basketball teams, Islamic and non-Islamic youth groups trying to reach the kids," Taylor told Fox 29.
Steedley was outside on March 12, 2016 when an argument ensued up the street. Then a gunshot rang out.
Philadelphia columnist Jenice Armstrong summed up the fateful day that saw Steedley lose her life:
According to friends, Nadje had been out earlier, and then she and some friends congregated on a porch in the 400 block of North Salford Street.
They were sitting around talking when gunfire broke out. One of several bullets fired by the gunman struck Steedley in the chest. She was rushed to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where she died about a half-hour later.
"They killed my baby, my only baby girl," the victim's mother, Zykia Clavon, told WPVI. "I'm just at a loss for words right now. I don't know what to say."
The victim's mother, Zykia Clavon, told a local news station that she was doing all she could to keep her sanity after her daughter was abruptly shot dead.
"We're going to send Princess J home the right home and her mom can't be a basket case when she's doing it because I'm a woman then I'm a mother," Clavon told ABC6 News.
She’s celebrating with us. Look. She's catching those balloons up there somewhere," said Zykia Clavon.
"She's a special person," Clavon said days later at a celebration of life commemorating Steedley's birthday. "She is in my heart. She's my angel. That's my angel. I need her and I need these two right here to remind me of my daughter," Clavon told Fox 28, clutching the arms of her daughter's two best friends,. Then she broke down crying.
Police are still offering a reward for any information to leads to an arrest in Steedley's slaying.
"There's a reward out there but I could care less," Clavon told Fox 28. "I just want to know who killed my daughter."