Jamil Griggs has been charged with the murder of 7-year-old Zaniyah Burns, along with 17 other charges that could land him in prison for the rest of his life.

Our entire community was devastated when Zaniyah was shot in her home. It's impossible to understand how something so tragic can happen to someone so innocent.

When the news first broke, there were no leads, but police suspected that the bullet was intended for Zaniyah's 16-year-old uncle. That made the situation even worse to me. A stray bullet is much different than a bullet intended for one child, but hitting a different one instead. The senseless violence of this murder is still hard to deal with.

ABC12 was in the courtroom when the charges were laid out for 17-year-old Jamil Griggs, and reported that he showed little emotion. You can see the video from ABC12 below.

The charges include:

  • First-Degree Premeditated Murder
  • Discharging a firearm at a building causing death
  • 7 Counts of assault with intent to murder. There are 7 counts because there were 7 people in the house at the time.
  • 9 counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Griggs could end up spending the rest of his life in prison after the trial is done.

Most people would think that life in prison is still not enough punishment for his crime, and I can't really argue them.

I just hate to see so many lives ruined because one person decided to do something so incredibly stupid. I don't know how a family can recover after losing their little girl this way. I can't imagine what Jamil's family must be feeling right now knowing that their kid is capable of something like this. The entire situation just bleeds heartbreak.

Normally I try to find some positive angle that might come from a tragedy, but as a dad of a little girl and boy, it's hard to find it right now. I just keep thinking about how the families involved must feel, and what their next step toward recovery must be. I wish I had some advice for them. Something to say that might give them a moment of solace, but I don't.