DECATUR, Ill. (WTVO) — An Illinois church is bringing new light to a site that once brought up dark memories.
The Decatur lot where Mishyra Wheeler, 17, was shot and killed in 2011 is now a community garden. The community and First Christian Church worked to together to place a plaque.
Members of Wheeler’s family said that they feared she was forgotten over the years, but the dedication inspired new hope in the fight against gun violence.
“First Christian Baptist Church and City of Decatur, to remember her this way is a very, very great honor,” said Bryan Johnson, Wheeler’s cousin. “You know, we’ve never seen a plaque like this in nobody else’s neighborhood, and throughout the years, the years of by gun violence, nobody has never, ever had a plaque like this. What it means, it means the world. It means the world.”
Volunteers planted Wheeler’s favorite flower, sunflowers, that now cover the lot, plus a tree that is meant to grow with the expanding garden.