MACON, Ga. — Dawn Waller says her niece Shakema Dickson was named after her mother Dikema, and she was the oldest cousin in the family. 

"When she was a little baby, I kept her weeks at a time so my sister could go to school. I had no children, but when she got older and started walking and talking, I'd be like, 'Kema, you better come get this girl.'"

She says growing up, all they had was each other and 'She She' was the life of the party.

Waller says her niece's bubbly presence will especially be missed this holiday season.

"They didn't have to kill my niece, she didn't deserve it. They didn't have to do this to us," she says. 

"Thanksgiving coming up, she's not gonna be here to say, 'Auntie, ooh, I'm full!' I'm gonna miss that," says Waller.

Family members say they've got some peace knowing that she died protecting her 2-year-old daughter, Korri, from the gunfire.

Waller says these next few weeks and months will be difficult for everyone, and they need all the love they can get.

"I appreciate this time. We need all the support we can get, this is hard for us," she says.

The family is also in need of financial support for funeral costs and medical costs for Korri.

To donate to the GoFundMe, visit their page.

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