NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — After a teen boy was charged with shooting and killing 11-year-old Hailey Joyner over the weekend, the girl’s family is speaking out and remembering the life they lost.
Her favorite color was pink, she loved to dance, and her mother says she was destined for greatness.
On Tuesday mother Rebecca McNeese surrounded herself with those she calls family to help get her through this difficult time.
McNeese has suffered from addiction in her past and said she was on the right track to a clean sober life with Hailey.
Justin Johnson, 16, is charged in Hailey’s shooting death, which happened Saturday in the 1000 block of Antioch Road in the Bridgeton area.
When McNeese got the news, it shattered her. Now she is only left with videos and pictures.
But she says she wants to keep Hailey’s name alive and help prevent this from happening in any other home.
“I teach people to remember her face and that we don’t keep guns in the house that are loaded with kids that aren’t locked,” said McNeese.
Hailey and the teen shooting suspect were living under the same roof at the time.
McNeese said she reached out to the Department of Social Services on multiple occasions concerned for her daughters’ safety at the home.
She said now she plans to file a lawsuit.
Funeral services have not been set at this time.