The great-grandmother of a Lexington 2-year-old who died Tuesday after a shooting on Kenton Street said she will be at every court appearance of the two men who were arrested.
Tammye Sparks was in the Fayette County district courtroom Wednesday when the men, each charged with two counts of assault and one count of robbery, pleaded not guilty.
On Wednesday night, police said one of the assault charges against each man had been upgraded to murder charges after police determined “both men are responsible for shots being fired,” police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said. The men will be arraigned on the murder charges later.
“I will be there until I go in my grave to make sure that they pay for what they’ve done to her,” Sparks said after Wednesday’s arraignment.
Marquis D. Thurman, 20, of Georgetown, and Adrian L. Dunn, 20, of Lexington, are accused of entering a house on Kenton Street at about 11 p.m. Monday and demanding money. Sierra Green, 20, her 27-year-old boyfriend and her daughter were in the living room of the house.
After Thurman and Dunn demanded money, multiple shots were fired, striking the woman’s boyfriend and her daughter, police said. Investigators say there was an exchange of gunfire, but it has not been determined how many guns were used, or how many shots were fired.
Nova Marie Gallman, 2, was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where she died at 4:22 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Fayette County coroner.
Green’s boyfriend was in stable condition when he was taken to a local hospital after the shooting.
Thurman and Dunn were found by police Tuesday at a local hospital as they sought treatment for injuries they suffered during the Kenton Street shooting.
Police said Monday that they do not believe Nova was shot on purpose.
Meanwhile, more than 200 people, including Green and her family, attended a vigil for Nova on Wednesday at Duncan Park. Prayers were offered and songs including “Amazing Grace” were sung as Green cried out “My baby.” Near the beginning of the vigil, community member Gerald Gibson urged people to be proactive in preventing violence.
“This little girl was innocent, precious and didn’t even have a chance to explore life,” Gibson said. “We have to do better in our community and our environment.”
Sparks, Nova’s great-grandmother, said Nova’s whole family is hurting.
“It seems like a bad dream. It doesn’t seem like she’s gone, and I just expect her to call me and tell me to come get her,” Sparks said. “It’s just hard.”
Sparks said she is tired of innocent young people being killed by violence in Lexington. Nova was the fourth juvenile in the last two months to die from gun violence.
“She was real spunky, sassy, she’s a beautiful baby,” Sparks said. “And I just don’t understand it, it’s senseless. They (Thurman and Dunn) got nothing and we’ve got a dead grandchild, a dead baby.”
Sparks said she’s grateful that Lexington police were able to arrest Thurman and Dunn so quickly. She added that she hopes the two men will face harsh punishment.
“I’m not an evil person and I don’t like hating people, but I have hatred right now. I really do,” Sparks said.