FORT WORTH, Texas — Updated at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17.
A 13-year-old girl was shot and killed Thursday night in southwest Fort Worth, police said Friday morning. Now, family and community leaders are looking for answers.
Officers responded about 9 p.m. to 3560 Altamesa Boulevard, which is the Altamesa McCart Center, a strip mall. They found the victim, 13-year-old Zakavia Shante Walker behind the old LA Fitness suffering from a gunshot wound.
She was taken to the hospital where she died, police said.
Walker's death comes just as her school, Wedgwood Middle School, was preparing for winter break. The staff talked about Walker's progress.
Fort Worth community leader Johnny Cook Muhammad, who's with Wedgwood staff, said he learned Walker loved school.
"... She was doing well in school, and now that's all gone," said Muhammad.
He said he's concerned with the increasing number of incidents involving guns and children across Fort Worth.
"In our community, a lot us don't know gun safety," Muhammad said. "We need real trauma help. We talk a lot about it. But our community is in a trauma state right now."
The Fort Worth Police Department has not revealed the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Walker, or if there are any suspects, or if it was accidental.
Although Muhammad doesn't know Walker's family, he said he's offering to help. He and others learned that the family does not have life insurance on the teen to help cover the cost of her funeral.
"At this point, all we can do is pray for her and pray for her family, and do our best to have a nice homegoing for her child. We can also try to stop the next one from happening because this is not normal."
Ironically, on the same night as Walker's shooting death, Muhammad and his family had to take cover from a shooting that occurred in his neighborhood. Police retrieved a bullet from the side of Muhammad's home.
Fort Worth police said the shooting occurred when two young men got into an altercation. Fortunately, there were no known injuries from the incident.
Note: An earlier version of this story said the victim was a woman. This story has been updated with the latest information from police.