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Community holds candlelight vigil for two young girls killed during domestic disturbance

Monday evening, a community gathered where cousins Makayla Martin and Alyssa Whitfield spent their last play date together Saturday morning before being shot.

KILLEEN, Texas — The City of Killeen has seen numerous homicides and domestic violence situations in the past week.

Two young girls were killed during the most recent situation after Killeen police say a domestic disturbance turned deadly.

Monday evening, a community gathered where cousins 11-year-old Makayla Martin and 6-year-old Alyssa Whitfield spent their last play date together Saturday morning before being shot. They held a candlelight vigil and shared stories, memories of the young girls.

"The 11-year-old went to greet her was jumping up and down and was so excited to see her cousin," said Eingrett Davis who lives a couple houses down from where the tragic incident occurred. "She hugged her and they ran into the house and that's a memory that will stick in my mind - how happy they were."

The happiness stopped short when Killeen police say a domestic disturbance turned deadly.

"These children are the future," said Jesse Davis, Eingrett's husband. "We're killing our precious gems...that's what makes it so hard for me."

Killeen police say 39-year-old Kendrick Gaines shot and killed the two girls and also shot his wife, Danielle. He has been charged with Capital Murder and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

"It started when she knocked on our door and my husband answered the door and commotion from then on," Eingrett explained.

Saturday morning the Davis' say Danielle ran to them for help and had a gun shot wound.

Then they saw Gaines.

"When he came out the house he was running with the gun, chasing the son, so I think when he saw my husband, he just just stopped and dropped the gun and raised his hands and came over," Eingrett explained.

The Davis' were able to keep the son from getting shot and held onto Gaines until police arrived.

"Thank God he dropped his gun when he did cause it could have been a lot worse," Jesse said.

They told 6 News, Danielle told them she was having marital issues with Gaines and was planning on leaving him soon.

Executive director of Aware Central Texas Misty Biddick says that's often the most dangerous time for people in domestic violence situations.

"What we often times see with perpetrators is that they try an alienate them from their family members, from their friends and isolate them so that they can't get help," Biddick said. "One of the biggest things they can do is just continue to support them and continue to be their friend. They need that support and just know as people try to leave these relationships it is the most dangerous time."

Biddick wants to remind the community to be there for those who need help, just like the Davis' were there for Danielle.

"Just continuing that relationship, letting them know that they support them, that they believe them and then help assisting them in connecting them with resources," she added.

Biddick says last month Aware Central Texas saw 65 new domestic violence survivors, so it's important to keep this tragic reality in the spotlight.

"People are very hesitant to talk about it," she said. "We have to talk about it, the more we talk about it more we know about the resources in our community, to safer we can keep our family members or neighbors or friends."

So that two young innocent lives, like Makayla and Alyssa, don't get caught in the cross-hairs again.

A GoFundMe page has also been created to help the family with funeral and hospital costs.

Gaines will stay in the Bell County Jail with a bond been set at $2.5 million.

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