NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — One North Little Rock mother is speaking for the first time about the death of her 13-year-old daughter, Arianna Staggers. Staggers was killed in a shooting nearly two months ago and Little Rock police say the suspect remains at large.
Staggers mother, Olivia Burks, said she is hardly at home because she believes the suspect, 17-year-old Tahmarcus Stewart, and his aquaintances are harassing her family.
Burks said the day she received the phone call about her daughter’s death, she was on her way to take her mother out to eat. Her daughter died on her mom and dad’s birthday.
"It was the worst day of my life,” Burks said. “I’ve been through some things in my life, but that day was just, it was just like a nightmare. It's still a nightmare to me."
Burks has a tattoo to commemorate her daughter's life. She called Staggers the glue of the family. Police say they are still searching for Stewart who has an active warrant for Capital Murder.
"Every time I lay my head down, when I am able to stay at home, I'm up peeking out my windows, wondering if this guy or someone he's affiliated with is going to come back and shoot my house up again," Burks said.
According to Burks, her two sons had to quit their jobs because they were harassed at work by people affiliated with the suspect. She believes North little Police is not doing enough to protect her family.
"There's no way this guy is being seen in the public eye to others but North Little Rock can't find him," she said.
Community advocate Tracy Steele said residents need to step up and help law enforcement catch the suspect. He said people in the community have become desensitized to violence and have forgotten the community can help the police solve crimes.
"Don't be afraid to give information so that no other child like this, the same could happen,” Steele said. “We have to treat this as if it were our child, our niece, our cousin, our loved one. We have to come together."
Burks said hopefully justice will prevail for Staggers.
"I got this locket just to keep her close to my heart because I'll never ever see my daughter again in the flesh," she said. "These are the memories that I have left of her now."
According to North Little Rock Police Department, Staggers is the only homicide that has involved a child this year. Officials said they are following up on leads and they're offering a reward for information that leads to Stewart’s arrest.
Officials with the department sent a statement to KATV:
"Our condolences go out to the family of Arianna Staggers. The tragic and senseless murder affects not only the family but the entire North Little Rock community. We understand the family’s frustration and demands for justice in this case. At this time we are unable to release certain information that may jeopardize this active investigation, but we are working with other law enforcement agencies (local and federal) to follow up on every lead or tip gained. At this time, investigators and patrol officers are working very diligently to locate the suspect, who’s been identified as Tahmarcus Stewart (17yrs / NLR). Stewart has an active warrant for murder in the 1st degree. The department has increased patrols in the rose city area and are offering a reward for information leading to Stewart’s arrest. Anyone with information on Stewart's whereabouts can contact detective gibbons @ 501-771-7149 or the tip line @ 501-680-8439. You can remain anonymous.