Fayetteville dad whose daughter was killed is channeling his grief into ending gun violence

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Chris Miller spent Thanksgiving Day with friends, family, and more importantly, his kids.

“I have seven other kids. We got to share and cry and laugh and cook some of Hayle’s favorite dishes and just remember her favorite things that she like to do,” he said.

However, one person was missing. His 16-year-old daughter, Hayle.

“She was a potato salad girl and she liked to do cheesecakes. That girl has been cooking since she was 12 years old,” Miller said with a smile on his face.

On Sept. 3, Fayetteville police said a teen girl, who Miller said was his daughter Hayle, met up with a group of teens who had planned to fight in the area of Stamper and McGougan roads.

Miller said detectives told him his daughter was not involved in the fight but was in a nearby car hit by gunfire.

She died more than a week later in the hospital. Last month, police arrested 21-year-old Jaylin Covington in that shooting. He’s charged with first-degree murder.

“So, I reached out to her [mom of shooting victim] and tried to let her know somebody’s fighting for you and we are thinking about you,” Miller said.

Miller said he’s been reaching out to families impacted by gun violence. He also said he met with Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin last week to talk about solutions.

“These parks should have cameras in them, and the cameras should go to a feed. When we have these games, organize a task force to make sure these kids are not lingering,” he stated.

This week, Fayetteville leaders announced plans of investing $850,000 to improve technology and community programs for at-risk youth.

The city is also investing in a gunshot detection system and revamping CrimeStoppers. They also plan to spend $150,000 to analyze crime statistics.

“It’s urgent and I don’t see it getting any better until we are vocal about it,” said Miller.

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