'I hope I made her proud:' Family holds birthday party for Harvey girl killed by stray bullet

MARKHAM, Ill. (WLS) -- The parents of a south suburban girl who died on her 12th birthday still held the party their daughter planned, collecting donations for funeral expenses instead of gifts.

Kentayvia Blackful was struck by a stray bullet while inside her home in Harvey on Monday night. She died the following day, on her birthday.

"She did not deserve to leave this Earth like that," said Kentnilla Blackful, Kentayvia's mother.

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Kentayvia was planning her birthday party at a skating rink when the shooting happened. Her family wanted to make sure she still had that celebration.

"She was so excited," Kentnilla Blackful said. "We're going to do it. We are still going to do it."

The family held the bittersweet celebration at the Markham Roller Rink on Saturday.

"Seeing all the love that my daughter got, it's helping a lot right now," said Trenton Blackful, Kentayvia's father.

The Blackfuls hope their daughter is looking down at her birthday party with her big, beautiful smile.

"I hope I made her proud," Kentnilla Blackful said. "She made me proud. Her whole 12 years, she made us proud."
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