MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis family is hoping for justice after the man wanted in the shooting death of a toddler was caught by U.S. Marshals while on the run in East Tennessee.
Many tears were shed after 3-year-old Zoriania Walker was shot and killed in June at an apartment complex in Whitehaven. Now, almost two months later, 33-year-old Christopher Smith is in custody for pulling the trigger.
Zoriania’s sweet little face is terribly missed by her grandmother Camilla Brown.
“You still living your life like nothing has happened, but we are suffering. We have to wake up every day with like a tightness in your chest that you can never get rid of,” Brown said. “It’s really hard because like if I see a picture of her, I cry. If I see a video of her on Facebook, I cry.”
Memphis Police said Smith was involved in an argument and fired a gun into the crowd hitting little Zoriania. She was driven to the hospital where she died.
Brown said she never met Smith but said he was dating a relative of Zoriania’s mother, and that’s when the argument escalated into gunfire.
“Everybody seen him so they knew who it was,” Brown said. “I would like him to know you really tore my family apart and you really hurt me and for you to just shoot into a crowd of kids that’s like, that’s not right at all.”
U.S. Marshals developed information Smith was in East Tennessee outside Chattanooga. Wednesday morning, he was picked up for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and weapons charges and taken to a jail in Coffee County.
Brown said the arrest is bittersweet because while justice may be served the pain is still overwhelming.
“I smile but on the inside, it’s eating me up bad,” she said. “I’m still loss for words because I never thought I’d be seeing this, like we didn’t get to no graduation, no kindergarten, no preschool.”
When Smith is brought back to Shelby County, Brown said she plans to be right here for every court hearing.