Candlelight vigil to honor 11-year-old shooting victim

Kayla Billings in an undated photo. Courtesy | Juette Muise

MIAMI, Okla. — A time of community prayer and fellowship is slated for Friday evening in memory of a Miami girl who died this week as a result of an apparent murder-suicide.

A candlelight vigil for 11-year-old Kayla Billings is being organized by her cousin, Juette Muise, as a way to not only remember Kayla, but also to hold a time of prayer for the other victims of the shooting — Melissa Wallace, the girl's mother; James Miller; and the couple’s unborn child.

The vigil is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Rotary Park, 514 Circle Drive NW in Miami, north of Wilson Elementary School.

“I saw how upset the community has been as her story and my Aunt Missy’s story has been shared,” Muise said. “I think I needed this, and the community needed this. I hope it reaches someone else in need and it starts to heal the community after this tragic loss.”

The event is slated to include music, candles and a speaker.

“I hope it’s a time of prayer and a chance to be together,” Muise said. “I want us to pray for our community.”

Kayla was killed during a domestic violence-related incident at approximately 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Miller's home in Miami. The girl's father, David Billings, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting and killing Kayla, police have said. Kayla’s mother and Billings’ ex-wife, 38-year-old Wallace, and Miller, also 38, were found shot at the residence at 217 I St. NW.

Muise said Wallace and her unborn baby are in stable condition following surgery. Miller, Wallace’s fiance, is in stable condition and reportedly doing well.

Muise describes her cousin as a fifth-grader with a “spunky attitude.”

“All of her little cousins loved her,” she said. “She was always helping them and playing with them. She had an infectious personality.”

Kayla was a student at Nichols Elementary School in Miami. Her cousin said she was known for being kind and friendly.

“She had a ton of friends,” Muise said. “She was very kind at school.”

Funeral services for Kayla were pending as of Thursday afternoon.

Recommended for you