Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Iesha Donaby of Helena-West Helena, AR -- Shot and Killed in Wichita Kansas

Visiting teen shot, killed after car honk

BY CHRISTINA M. WOODS

The Wichita Eagle

Ida Staten stands in the room where her niece, Iesha Donaby, died after being shot with a gun outside Staten's home at 3016 E. 11th St. Her last words were, "I'm dying. I'm dying. I've been hit." There was a very distinct bloody hand print on the carper in this room where she collapsed and died.
Jaime Oppenheimer/The Wichita Eagle
Ida Staten stands in the room where her niece, Iesha Donaby, died after being shot with a gun outside Staten's home at 3016 E. 11th St. Her last words were, "I'm dying. I'm dying. I've been hit." There was a very distinct bloody hand print on the carper in this room where she collapsed and died.

How to report tips

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting death of Iesha Donaby to call Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111 (toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS).

Shequita Staten's ringtone, "Never Would Have Made It" by gospel artist Marvin Sapp, blasted as she talked about the shooting death of her 17-year-old cousin, Iesha Donaby.

"It was crazy how it all went down," she said.

Donaby was riding Monday night with Staten and a 17-year-old boy, heading south on Hillside behind a white car, police said. The two cars turned right onto 11th Street, police said, and then the white car stopped.

Staten said she waited, then honked at the white car as she went around. The three teenagers arrived at their destination, a home at 11th and Lorraine, and were walking to the front door when a man got out of the white car.

He didn't speak, Staten said.

Instead, he shot at them. Donaby, who was struck several times, was pronounced dead around 11:55 p.m. at Wesley Medical Center, police said.

Donaby was from West Helena, Ark., and was visiting family in Wichita.

The family is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

Tuesday afternoon, family members ushered reporters beyond the front door, which was marked with the handwritten words "Enter as guests... leave as friends," to see blood and handprints lingering in the home.

Donaby, the family said, stumbled into the house to say she had been hit and that she was dying before she collapsed.

"I feel like I'm in a nightmare and can't get up," said her aunt, Ida Staten, who lives at the house.

Katherine Staten, another aunt, said her niece was smart, loved track and basketball, would have graduated from high school next year and "was not a trouble child at all."

Katherine Staten said her brother called Donaby's parents and relayed the news.

The family plans to bury her in Arkansas on Saturday, Katherine Staten said.

"She's the first young loss we've had," said Katherine Staten, adding that Donaby's mom is one of 18 children. "She's the first loss we've had in 12 years."

Katherine Staten said her sister, Donaby's mother, had started calling more frequently, asking to talk with her daughter and telling her to come home.

Donaby was packed and ready to leave Wichita on Thursday -- before the Fourth of July holiday. Family members said she'd been in town since late May.

"It was like a mother's intuition," Katherine Staten said.

The Rev. Peggy Elliott, who has been facilitating citywide race-related dialogues and prayer walks through Wichita neighborhoods devastated by violence, learned about the shooting from The Eagle.

"It's to the point where any one death is a critical mass," she said. "And we're at a critical mass. And I recognize that there's got to be something going on with individuals experiencing that much lack at valuing life."

Elliott said she'd like to see more men and area pastors hit the streets -- even on weekends and in early-morning hours -- praying and interacting with people to improve safety. Elliott said a community can't be healed if it doesn't feel safe.

"My heart's cry is, men get up, get out," Elliott said. "It's not going to be comfortable. It's going to be time-consuming."

The Rev. Riccardo Harris has already taken that pledge, talking against violence throughout the city after his son, Robert Ridge, was slain in January at a stoplight because the shooter didn't like the way Ridge looked at him. Harris was stunned hearing details about Donaby's shooting death, which occurred several blocks from where his son was shot.

"She comes here to die?" he said.

"I can't say the whole generation is lost," Harris said, "but these young men are lost if they think that's OK.... You can call it road rage if you want, but that's rage bottled up inside of them."

Kevin Jones, who lives in the 11th and Lorraine neighborhood, raised his concerns about the area as he walked by the duplex Tuesday afternoon.

"There's no safety out here," said Jones, who moved to Wichita three years ago.

Kathleen Staten, another aunt, said she hopes Wichitans don't dismiss the death because her niece was from out of town.

And, to the shooter, Kathleen Staten said, "Don't just walk away."

Reach Christina M. Woods at 316-269-6791 or cwoods@wichitaeagle.com.


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Thanks,
Dana J. Flowers
Administrative Assistant ( Mayor)
(870) 572-3421 Office
(870) 714-1386 Cell

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