Two Teens Already Arrested in Slaying of 9-Year-Old Saniya Nicholson


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Saniya Nicholson
  • Saniya Nicholson
Two teenage boys have been arrested for a shootout that killed 9-year-old Saniya Nicholson Wednesday evening. Via reporting by Adam Ferrise at, the 17-year-old and 19-year-old will appear before a judge in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court today.

Saniya was seated in the front seat of her mother's car Wednesday evening when shots were fired outside the DNA Level C boxing gym in Cleveland's Lee-Harvard neighborhood. Saniya's mother, Marshawanette Daniels, had driven there to pick up her 14-year-old son, who was working out at the gym.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said at a press conference Thursday that a disagreement broke out between a group of boys driving by the gym and another group standing on the corner.

When the firing began, one of the stray bullets went through the windshield of Marshawnette Daniels' car and hit Saniyah in the forehead, killing her instantly. Nicholson's 20-year-old sister was sitting in the backseat and was not injured.

Reporter Ferrise spoke with witnesses who estimated that 15 shots were fired in total.

In addition to murder, the two teens in custody have been charged with discharging a firearm across a street, felonious assault, improperly handling a gun in a car and criminal damaging.

Saniya is the sixth child killed in Cleveland in 2018 and the second in only a week. Sunday night, a 16-year-old Tanzanian refugee named Bahati Juma was shot and killed outside his apartment building on the city's west side.

''There is a point when you've just gone too far,'' Mayor Frank Jackson said at the press conference Thursday. ''To those who have perpetrated this crime [the murder of Saniya] and caused other deaths of innocents, we will not tolerate this. We will arrest you and prosecute you.''

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