Wichita mom after 11-year-old girl is shot: ‘I was in shock thinking I was going to lose her’


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The mother of 11-year-old McKayla Kester, who was shot Tuesday as the result of a drive-by shooting, said she feared for her daughter’s life.

“I heard my daughter screaming and went in there,” said McKayla’s mom. “I was checking her body to see if she was ok, and I lifted her shirt up, and there was the gunshot wound on her side and then blood was coming out.”

McKayla’s mom said she and her family were in bed early Tuesday morning when her son frantically came into her room. She heard what she thought were fireworks.

“I thought I heard something. I thought it was fireworks, and he came in and he said there has been a drive-by. At that time, I didn’t know our house was hit.”

A Wichita police captain said someone known to the family drove by and shot two times into the Kester home.

McKayla, who was sleeping in her bedroom at the time, was hit once in the hip.

“I was in shock thinking I was going to lose her,” McKayla’s mom explained.

McKayla has undergone surgery and remains in the hospital as of Thursday night.

“She is in a bed and in a lot of pain. It takes her about 45 minutes to get out of the bed just to go to the bathroom,” she said.

The bullet is still lodged in McKayla’s back. It will stay there for the foreseeable future. Her mother said she has a long recovery ahead of her.

“Right now, she has a tube in her nose that is draining all that out of her stomach and she can only have ice chips. That’s all she can have. She wants water. She can’t have water. She hasn’t been able to eat,” she said.

McKayla’s mother said she is struggling to understand why someone would shoot an innocent young girl.

“Sad, hurt, angry that it would happen to any child but to my child, my 11-year-old. She didn’t deserve it,” she said. “They might not have known it was an 11-year-old girl, but why shoot anybody. Why? Violence is not the answer and it has to stop.”

Wichita police do not believe this was a random shooting, however, they do believe McKayla was an innocent victim.

“There is a house guest staying at that residence and the family was disapproving of a visitor that the guest has brought in and that culminated into some type of disturbance and although I can’t directly attribute that to the shooting it is believed that it could be a motive,” said Wichita Police Captain Jason Stephens.

Wichita police are offering a $1,000 reward for an arrest in the case.

McKayla’s mom is hopeful this nightmare will come to an end. McKayla is expected to be in the hospital for the next several weeks before starting physical and trauma therapy.

“I just want extra prayers for her. I want the recovery. I want her back to her happy self,” she said.

A family member has set up a GoFundme to help pay for McKayla’s medical expenses.

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