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Family and friends of Kalecia Williams, the 16-year-old who was shot to death at the Hyatt Regency a month ago, gathered at that hotel Tuesday, not just to remember her, but to call attention to new details about the case.
Atlanta police said a teenaged boy was arrested in connection to her death and her family said that’s not enough, as they said they’re slowly piecing together information themselves that leads them to believe more people should be held accountable for their loved one’s death.
For hours Tuesday, two dozen friends and family members of 16-year-old Kalecia Williams shouted her name from the Hyatt Regency where she was last seen alive.
The Hyatt Regency hotel in Atlanta where Kalecia Williams was shot to death on Dec. 26, 2020. (Google Maps)
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“It was just a lot of foul play and I’m trying to put all the pieces together because I don’t feel like the system is doing enough to help me,” her mother, April Smith spoke exclusively with FOX 5.
On December 26, 2020, “Pinky,” as her family calls her, was supposed to go to a chaperoned holiday party at an Airbnb but they said they later realized another parent paid for their stay at the Hyatt Regency.
“She was responsible for getting the hotel room for these minors. Her name was on the hotel room for these minors, so I feel like she should be held accountable for my daughter’s death as well,” Smith said.
Her mother said she wasn’t notified of her daughter’s death until eight hours after she was pronounced dead.
The video shows a happy Kalecia making a Tik Tok video. She appears startled when someone comes into the room. Within seconds, the video ends.
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“What happened after she made that last Tik Tok video at 12:02 a.m. and she was dead at 12:23 a.m.? I need answers,” Smith said.
There are still no concrete answers outside of an arrest, according to Atlanta police — but a South Carolina woman just connected with the family days ago.
“I just got a chill in my body when she called me and my wife,” Ronney Savoy, Kalecia’s stepfather, said.
Kanautica Starkie said she stayed at the hotel during the chaos.
“They were shouting ‘what hotel we at what hotel’, she was panicking,” she remembered.
“I seen two guys coming out the elevator with a little girl holding her. One had one leg, one had the other and they were saying she had been shot,” Starkie said.
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Starkie said she held the 16-year-old’s hand as they waited for first responders to arrive. She said she has only told the family and FOX 5 about those desperate moments to find help for Pinky, after connecting with the teen’s stepfather on social media.
She said she took a video of EMTs trying to resuscitate Pinky, which only makes the family even more suspicious.
“The young girl said they moved my daughter’s body because of the blood, but when we look at the video from the woman from South Carolina there was no blood, so we want to know the reason why you took her from the floor to the lobby,” Savoy said.
Derrick Morrow, area vice president and general manager, Hyatt Regency Atlanta released the following statement on Tuesday regarding the incident:
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“The safety and security of our guests and colleagues is always a top priority. We were deeply saddened by the isolated situation that occurred at Hyatt Regency Atlanta on December 26, 2020, and our thoughts go out to those who have been affected. The hotel fully cooperated with local authorities related to the incident. Out of respect for the privacy of those involved, we cannot share more specific details on the isolated incident.”
Pinky’s family is urging any witnesses to come forward and talk to the Atlanta Police Department, even if it is anonymously.
This story first appeared on Fox 5 Atlanta.
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