Updated: October 21, 2021 07:01 PM
Created: October 13, 2021 07:05 PM
The family of the woman killed during a mass shooting inside a St. Paul bar is calling for an end to the violence and for justice to be served.
Marquisha Wiley, 27, was killed in the crossfire of a shoot-out at Seventh Street Truck Park early Sunday morning.
"The family is devastated by her loss and it's really hurting everybody in our community," said Wiley's brother-in-law, Giovanni Celaya.
Terry Brown, the man accused of firing the shot that killed Wiley, faced a judge Wednesday and will be held on $10 million bond.
He suffered a broken leg during the shooting, according to court documents. He made his first court appearance via Zoom from his hospital bed at Hennepin County Medical Center. He will be taken to jail upon discharge from the hospital.
The other suspect, Devondre Phillips, had his first court appearance Tuesday.
Phillips is charged with 12 counts of attempted murder and will also be held on $10 million bond upon being released from the hospital, following surgery on his leg.
Court documents show the men started firing at one another following a brief interaction inside the bar involving tensions over Brown's girlfriend.
Wiley's family said she did not know either suspect and was an innocent bystander enjoying a night out in St. Paul when she was shot and killed.
Her sister, Aundrea Wiley, provided this statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:
"Please let our family have time to grieve during this difficult time. My sissy was one in a million. She did not deserve for someone to so carelessly take her life away. She was a dedicated vet tech with goals as bright as the sun. She was a good person. She didn't deserve this.
"My beautiful little sister. You were so important in so many people's lives. You lit up a room as soon as you walked in and you always made sure everyone was good. You were the glue to our family sissy. You held us together making sure we came together for everything no matter what. Family was so important to you. You are the most gorgeous, kindest, funniest, smartest, realest person I know. You never judged. You were always there for me. You were my light sissy and I don't know what I'm going to do without you.
"I'm ready for justice to be served. My sister cannot be laid to rest until justice is served. My sister does not deserve to wait as we have just to see her. I'm very upset to find out the cause of death and time of death on the news, as well as the fact that we drove around for three hours trying to find her. No one could help us and the officers on the scene did nothing to help her. There needs to be justice served. I'm sick and tired of gun violence taking away innocent souls. There needs to be change."
Wiley, whose loved ones called her "Kiki," worked as a veterinary technician in the Twin Cities. Wiley also owned a rescue dog named Geneva, whose life she saved, according to family.
Celaya said she was known for her selfless love and beautiful spirit.
"Kiki moved a lot of people. She was very successful, very beautiful. She had many, many friends. And the reason she had so many friends is because she was so kindhearted and a wonderful soul," Celaya said.
The family is now demanding accountability for both the suspects and elected leaders.
"Gov. Walz and Mayor Carter, what are we doing for this community? What are you guys doing to stop this nonsense? The gun violence has gotten out of control. Marquisha Wiley was just a girl having fun on her day off and somebody took her life so unfairly," Celaya said. "Dig real deep and figure out solutions for our community because enough is enough and we are tired of losing innocent people."
Community leaders also spoke to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Wednesday calling for an end to the senseless violence.
"At some point, we're going to have to say, enough is enough. Nobody's winning and it's time for our community to heal," said Farji Shaheer.
Shaheer is involved with multiple nonprofits aimed at curbing the violence in the Twin Cities, including Next Step, Innovative Solutions, Guns Down Love Up, Healing Streets, Restoration Inc. and Brothers in Power.
"It's just an emotional battle that our community is facing in regards to the way people handle conflict or resolve their feelings. They should have been able to walk away from this situation without leaving a trail of bullets and innocent victims," Shaheer said. "We have a mix of unstable emotions and individuals who have accessibility to firearms and when you put those two together, you end up with situations like this."
The head of the St. Paul police union also weighed in about public safety in the city Wednesday.
"It's never been more difficult and we've never been stretched more thin than we are right now," said Mark Ross, president of the St. Paul Police Federation.
Ross said the St. Paul Police Department had 650 officers in 2019 and has lost about 90 since then, a loss of nearly 14% of the police force.
"I don't know that anything could have been done to prevent that shooting the other night. I can't sit here and tell you that if we had 50 more cops on the street last weekend that wouldn't have happened," Ross said. "But I do know when we do have more cops on the streets, there's a greater deterrent.
"We're stopping more cars and we're getting more guns off the street. When we take a gun off the street, how many shootings is that going to prevent? How many victims are we saving? We'll never know that, but we do know that does make a difference."
Several other friends and family members of Marquisha Wiley provided statements to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in the hopes of letting people know what kind of person was lost in this shooting.
Wiley's cousin and childhood best friend, Ciara Charles, said Wiley had a magnetic personality, sported "the BEST" hairdos and outfits and always had the "perfect words" to comfort her friends when they were hurting.
"I lost the one and ONLY person I called my BEST FRIEND because people don't want to put these guns down!" Charles wrote. "I will no longer ever have the chance to build our relationship back up and that will forever mess with me."
Veronica Winge, another of Wiley's close friends, said she "touched everyone (she) ever met even if it was just for a brief second."
"You moved yourself differently then anyone I ever knew. You moved yourself with love, patience, kindness, laughter, strong mentality, grace, and so much more," Winge said of Wiley. "When someone tells me that you are beautiful they were meaning that you were inside and out."
Chastity Holden, a friend and former basketball teammate, said Wiley was "so talented and smart" and "someone you looked up to and loved to be around."
"She was so loved," Holden wrote. "She was an inspiration not only in fashion or basketball but as a woman, Kiki was always someone you wish you could be like because she was extraordinary."
Rae, another close friend, shared that Wiley was "a go-getter and any goals she set for herself, she worked hard and made sure to reach them."
I'm really going to miss that beautiful smile and laugh of hers that lit up any room she walked in," Rae said. "If Kiki wasn't laughing she was for sure singing or dancing. Her vibe was contagious and I'm just thankful our last few encounters were nothing but good energy and genuine love."
A GoFundMe page to help the family cover funeral expenses and other costs has raised more than $20,000 so far. If you'd like to donate, click here.
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