Cleveland, OH. - Nine-year-old Alaya Brown was robbed of her childhood seven years ago when a reckless driver shot her in the head. At the time, Alaya was two years old. This day will always hunt this family. It was reported as Alaya's mom held her in her arms, a car with men drove by following an altercation, and the men in the car began to shoot. As a result, Alaya was struck in her head. Her brain and skull were severely damaged. Her stomach is paralyzed.
Approximately two weeks ago, the vehicle was stolen, "She is still a kid. She was robbed from her childhood. She has seizures. She's in hospice. Now, she can't go outdoors because someone stole her aunt's White 2021 KIA Seltos. Her customized wheelchair stroller was in the vehicle. It cost approximately $5,000, and we need this wheelchair to help get her around," said Ms. Gwen Curry, Alaya's grandmother.
On July 17, 2022, Brown on Cleveland wrote about this tragic day in a follow-up story on July 17, 2022.
Alaya's aunt has auto and homeowners' insurance with Progressive. According to the family, Progressive is reviewing the claim. We reached out to Progressive, but we have yet to get a response. We also contacted the Miller Rehab Corporation to verify the cost of the customized wheelchair and stroller. The actual price is $4912.73 for a replacement.
"Seven years ago, July 16 was one of the worst days of my life. It was the day of the Democratic Convention. The police were busy protecting a convention when my granddaughter was shot. Help was hard to find. The police were not immediately available to us. This is what happens in Cleveland neighborhoods," said Ms. Curry.
A bullet grazed Ms. Curry's daughter. Since the incident with her daughter, she remains saddened. "Parents need to be held accountable for their kids. These kids are learning to steal cars from social media, and their actions need penalties. Right now, KIA is a living headache and a nightmare. Alaya is nine years old. She weighs 30 lbs and drinks one carton of milk per day. She is fed through a tube. She has three seizures a day. Her shockers were also in the car. The shocker controls the seizures. It's a simulator. This is the result of getting shot on the streets of Cleveland," scoffed Ms. Curry.
As it stands, the Cleveland Police have not found the stolen vehicle. According to Ms. Curry, the car is not in the impound lot. The family is asking the community to help. If you know where the customized wheelchair stroller is, please call your local police department or return the unit to the police; no questions asked.
"She was robbed of her childhood, and she doesn't deserve this; please help," added Ms. Curry.
Brown on Cleveland made a Facebook plea. We will also follow up with Progressive Insurance Claims Department and media relations to inquire about content insurance and if the homeowner's policy will cover the replacement cost. The aunt bought the KIA from Kia of Willoughby. We will also contact them to discuss how they decrease car theft.
Update: the family set up a GO FundMe page: https://gofund.me/50d077f3
Brown on Cleveland will continue to follow this story.