DAVENPORT, Iowa — Several dozen friends and family members gathered on Monday evening at the same spot Italia Marie Kelly was shot and killed, the parking lot near the Walmart Supercenter on West Kimberly.
The 22-year-old was a passenger in a car Sunday night near midnight when a gunshot from a yet unknown source killed her, police say. She is the first death in a night of unrest across the Quad Cities following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minnesota police custody.
"It's hard, she didn't deserve this," said Italia's mother, Sharon Kelly. She got the call from another daughter who was listening to police scanner traffic. They knew Italia was out protesting. Italia sent her sister a video of herself protesting, just ten minutes before she was gunned down, Kelly told News 8.
"She was here trying to protest peacefully. These idiots just want to take it out of control and bring guns to a situation that don’t need to be here.This needs to stop..It needs to stop now before another mother has to grief like I do, and cry over her baby gone. It’s gotta stop," she said in tears.
Kelly said her oldest daugher died of the kind of senseless violence she protested, the perpetrator still unknown.
"We need to stop the racism in the city. We need to stop the black and white issue. That’s why she was here, trying to get the message across and it ended her life."
As friends and families lit candles, several officers of the Davenport police stopped by and extended sympathies to Sharon Kelly. They were back at 9 p.m. as the vigil ended, and the first night of a Scott County-wide curfew began.
"Hold your babies close. You never know when its’ gonna be the last time," she concluded before she returned home to Italia's siblings.
The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations is investing the shooting.