TAMPA, Fla. — On Saturday afternoon, people will meet at Tampa’s Ballast Point Park to remember Nilexia Alexander, who was shot and killed a year ago.
On May 6, 2022, the 14-year-old was shot and killed. After a few months, the cops arrested Ronny Walker, 44, in connection with her death.
Ashley Alexander, who was her foster mother and later adopted her, says that the 14-year-old girl had a hard time as a child and ran away a lot in the years before she died.
Ashley said that she and her daughter often went to Ballast Point Park, where they talked about her problems and why she was running away, as well as other things.
The teen’s mother said, “It was one of her favorite places to go when we wanted to be alone, talk, or just get away.” “We would cry, laugh, and make jokes. Well, when we come here, we’ve found a happy place.”
Ashley Alexander told 10 Tampa Bay that a year later, in their “happy place,” the death of her daughter is still very painful.
“Every day, I miss her. I think about my child every single day. She said, “I always think about what she would be doing today.” “In the ninth grade, she could be at homecoming or working on getting her driver’s license. But they took that away from us.”
Ashley Alexander was only 27 years old when she became a foster parent to Nelexia and her sister. She didn’t plan to adopt, but she fell in love and wanted to.
She said, “I wanted them to have a home for life.” “I never wanted them to feel like they had to go from place to place,” she said.
But Ashley Alexander said that in the years after the adoption, there was trouble that came from Nilexia Alexander’s past. She talks about how her daughter fought for her own identity and freedom.
“I did everything that was asked of me. I took her to mental health. She needed help, so I sent her to two different classes. I have sent her to different kinds of therapy for more than a year. Ashley Alexander said, “I did my best.”
Nilexia Alexander kept on running away, though.
On May 6, 2022, during one of her times away from home, the 14-year-old girl got into a car with Walker, according to Tampa Police. She was soon found dead after being shot.
Ashley Alexander said that she will never understand why.
“What I want to know most is why? How? How did you meet my 14-year-old daughter? Why did you pull the gun and kill her when she was only 14?” she inquired.
Ashely Alexander wants Walker to be put to death. She also wants other kids and parents to learn from what happened.
Ashley Alexander said, “I do want to start talking to the young teens who are being disrespectful at home and are going down the same path as my daughter. I hope that by telling my story, I can save another child or parent from going through this nightmare.”
Her message to kids who remind her of herself will be:
“Act like a kid. Rules are rules. Don’t go out. Try to stay a kid as long as you can. No one will love you as much as your parents do.”
On Saturday, May 6, at 2:00 p.m., the balloons will be released at Ballast Point Park. Ashley Alexander said that people will let go of purple balloons, which is the favorite color of her daughter.
Anyone who wants to pay their respects can come to the event.