TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s been three months since Tampa mother Latoya Gay was killed in the crossfire during a shootout at Silver Oaks, and her family says they still have no answers in her death.
Not a day goes by for Gay’s family without the pain of missing their loved one.
“We miss her, and it’s hard to deal with this,” said Vernessa Howard, Gay’s grandmother. “This is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with to see my children breaking down. There is no comfort, I can do nothing.”
The family is pleading for the community to come forward with any information.
“What if this was your family? What if you had somebody that you love to be taken from you? Wouldn’t you want somebody to say something? Please if you know something, say something,” said Howard.
Howard said her 26-year-old granddaughter, Latoya, died while protecting her 7-year-old daughter, Jaida, after shots rang out at the Silver Oaks apartments on Kenneth Court on Jan. 18. The two were there visiting friends when they got caught in the crossfire.
“Latoya was a very helpful and giving person,” said her grandmother. “She had a giving spirit, she had two beautiful children. She will see that she won’t see them graduate. She won’t see them have their kids.”
The family is now suing the managers and owners of the complex in a negligent security wrongful death lawsuit. Attorney Adam Finkel of The Haggard Law Firm represents the family.
“Arco Management and SP Johnson were inexcusably indifferent to violent crime at this property,” said Finkel. “Latoya Gay is another innocent victim left in their wake.”
Tampa police detectives released video of the persons of interest after the shooting. Investigators said this is an active and open investigation.
Detectives said there were multiple shootings at Silver Oaks on the night of Gay’s death. Police said they have arrested a 16-year-old for their involvement.
“This has left a hole in our family,” said Howard. “This is left a hole in our hearts. I don’t know if we’ll ever be over this. I don’t know if this will ever be the same.”
News Channel 8 has called and emailed the attorney representing the owner and manager of Silver Oaks. At this time, we have not heard back.