Family of shooting victim, Zahira Smith, speaks out after devastating loss

[anvplayer video=”5113825″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – The family of Zahira Smith speaks out after she was killed in a shooting on Emerson Street Saturday while attending a party. Her death is a devastating loss for the family and community.

“Zahira is my friend,” Zahira Smith’s mom, Allie Forest said. “I love plants. Like she was my plant buddy.”

The family of 16-year-old Zahira Smith is heartbroken, angry, and wants answers said Zahira’s life was stolen from her too soon.

"I always said to Zahira, ‘you got my green thumb,’ Forest said. “You know, every plant you know how to care for. That was my friend. I cooked, we listened to music together.”

“My sister was a sweetheart. She was a little girl at heart who genuinely played too much. That was her first party,” Smith’s sister Ciasia Alves said.

Her family said Zahira was like any other 16-year-old, she loved to sing, dance, make TikTok videos and most of all be with her family.

“She wasn’t a kid that we lost to the street. She was a kid that pleaded with her mother to go to this party, you know, and to give her some freedom that’s what took place,” her grandmother Ann Smith said. “And taking place, she got her life taken from her.”

Police don’t believe Zahira was the intended target and her family now pleading with the community to help get justice.

“It could have been anybody,” Forest said. “It just happened to be Zahira and just like, just imagine, if it was you. What would you want? You would want somebody to tell what happened and being a witness is not snitching, being a witness is letting them know. Telling what happened."

“I just want to say to the people, whoever did this cowardly act to my niece,” Zahira’s uncle Nick Sewell said. It’s yall, yall are out here killing each other it’s not nobody else. It’s not nobody from another community coming in to kill people, those are random acts of violence which happened like Buffalo, stuff like that, but we out here killing each other every day for nothing. It’s senseless and it needs to stop and it’s not going to stop here but we need to figure out something to keep these kids safe. It’s crazy out of control right now.”

Zahira’s sister Ciasia said if you do know anything about the shooting. You can reach out to her personally at 585-435-8696.