LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– The community came together for a vigil and balloon release to remember and encourage the family of 18-month-old Kaci Cyprian, who was killed in an officer-involved shooting Saturday morning.
Two police officers, a woman and another child were also wounded in the shooting.
The vigil took place at Pa Davis Park in Lafayette Parish. Family and friends at the vigil said Kaci was a ray of sunshine who would light the room when she smiled. The family remembered their little angel gone from the world too soon.
“You have every right to be upset right now, for it is a tragic moment, but in every tragedy, there’s a triumph,” the speaker at the vigil said.
“God is watching over your brother, Tim, and Jowanna,” The speaker added. “Yes, he has taken a loved one from us, Kaci, but I tell you this it could have been 18 seconds. It could have been 18 minutes, or it could have been 18 days or 18 weeks, but he allowed us 18 months, and what we hold out of those 18 months is the precious moments and the love that God has for us.”
Many people shed tears, but they were encouraged to remember the good memories of Kaci.
“The moments when you picked her up, and you looked into her face, and she smiled at you. That’s what you hold on to,” The speaker added. “These are what you hold on to. Let the tragedy go; hold onto the goodness of God.”
Yellow and white balloons were sent up in the sky. Candles were lit up as a reminder that Kaci’s light will never go out.
Kaci’s mother, Jowanna Christina, along with others, experienced emotional moments throughout the vigil.
“Kaci, I love you. Kaci, I’m sorry,” Christina said while in tears at the vigil.
Christina, also took to social media to grieve the loss of her child saying: “Kaci will never get to experience a first day of school, a first boyfriend, elementary, middle or high school activities. I won’t get to walk my daughter down the aisle in her wedding dress or buy her first tampons. I’ll never get the mommy-daughter dates. I’ll never be able to give her womanly advice.”
The pastor at the vigil also encouraged people to continue giving the family support even after the vigil and balloon release.
“We’re not out here for our own agenda, but we’re out here to comfort and encourage this family, and this is what God wants us to do even after it’s over, even after the balloon release is over,” the pastor said.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral arrangements.