Italia Marie Kelly is one of two people killed during a protest held in Davenport, Iowa, on Sunday night. According to the Des Moines Register, she was shot while leaving the Walmart parking lot, where the protest against police brutality was held.
Protests have broken out across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in multiple cities to take a stand against injustice and call for police reform. Unfortunately, many of these protests have resulted in violence, rioting, and looting.
Kelly’s aunt, Amy Hale, said the event started peacefully, but her niece started feeling uncomfortable as the night went on, citing arguing demonstrators as the primary reason. The 22-year-old tried to get into her friend’s car to leave the parking lot when she was shot. Doctors pronounced her dead when she arrived at the hospital 30 minutes later.
Hale said that Kelly was biracial herself and very vocal about inequality and often spoke about it on her social media. She asserted that Kelly “wasn’t about the violence. She wasn’t about the looting and the rioting. She was about justice.”
Sadly, Hale said that Kelly was just beginning to turn her life around. She had recently acquired a steady job as a waitress and was trying to get back on the right path after she fell into a bad crowd and dealt with a few minor offenses.
Kelly’s aunt expressed that the young woman was “empathetic and frequently lifted up her friends.”
“We’re mourning the loss of her. But we’re also mourning what could have been.”
Police have not released the name of the other gunshot victim. A few others were also injured by gunfire. No further information about the possible shooter, or shooters, was released.
During a news conference held Monday morning, Mayor Mike Matson claimed that police and first responders had received at least 20 calls about gunfire and multiple suspicious fires in the area. A curfew was set for 9 p.m. on Monday.
Matson claimed that there were 100 cars packed together in the Walmart parking lot.
“The incidents of this last night were not about promoting justice, and they were not about honoring the memory of George Floyd. Instead they were intended to create chaos and purposely inflict damage throughout our community,” said Matson.
He also added that he did not recall seeing any protest as violent as the one on Sunday night, and he has lived in the area since 1978.