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Mom pleads for justice in killing of 16-year-old daughter

Posted at 8:42 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 20:42:32-04

INDIANAPOLIS — In recent weeks, three children have either been killed or hurt by stray bullets in Indianapolis and metro police need your help to solve these crimes.

The mother of Nya Mae Cope, 16, who was killed by a stray bullet while riding in a car with her mom, is speaking out.

Nikki Cope was behind the wheel when her daughter died on May 3 on Indianapolis' east side. She said the two, along with Nya's friend, drove from Marion to Indianapolis for the evening to visit a friend and get a bite to eat at their favorite restaurant.

There were road closures and they ended up at the intersection of Arlington and 38th Street where a large crowd was gathered. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officials said the stray bullet that killed the teen was shot from someone in that crowd.

Nikki Cope said the bullet went through the backseat, into the head rest, hitting the back of Nya's head.

" I said, 'Oh my God, somebody's shooting,'" Nikki said. "Before I could even get back over the light was red and then before I knew it I look over and Nya fell forward, the gunshot went through the back of her head. We are in the dark."

There are still no leads in the case.

"All I have is now the cemetery to go to and all my memories and the things in my home of her," Nikki said. "That's all I have. I'll never see her grow older to do anything. They took everything from me, everything I live for from me."

Nikki thought her daughter was safe being with her.

"I can cruise with them and feel like she's safe with me," Nikki said. "But I guess not."

Nikki is doing everything she can to find answers of who shot that bullet. She relives those moments every day.

"I couldn't give her breaths because she was full of blood in her mouth. So I tried," Nikki said. "I had blood all over me all night but I didn't care. That was my baby's blood. I hate for anyone to have to hear the story but I have to keep light on it, you know? I don't want any mother to have to suffer like I have."

They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I'm not supposed to be afraid of our people or where I'm at," Nikki said. "We're not in a war zone."

Police are still working on Nya's case and the others were people were hit by stray bullets.

"It boggles your mind to wonder why people feel the need to fire off around whether it was at somebody or just to make a point, I don't know," IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said. "But the point is you've got two people dead."