Home Kid toys Mother of daughter killed in domestic strife grapples with devastating loss: ‘It doesn’t seem real’

Mother of daughter killed in domestic strife grapples with devastating loss: ‘It doesn’t seem real’

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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – Brittney Whitfield said losing her daughter on Saturday in a domestic violence shooting at her sister Danielle Gaines’ home still seems surreal.

“I’m still in disbelief; it doesn’t feel real,” Whitfield said.

Her 6-year-old daughter, Alyssa Whitfield, was one of two children killed at 403 W Vega Lane in Killeen on Saturday March 12.

The Bell County District Attorney’s Office has filed capital murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges against Kendrick Donnel Gaines39. The man is accused of shooting and killing Alyssa and her stepdaughter, Makayla, and wounding his wife, Danielle.

“I went to an interview that morning, so I dropped her off at my sister’s,” Whitfield recalled.

She says she told Alyssa she loved her and said goodbye through the car window in the driveway. She went to the job interview and ran a few more errands, all the while dealing with the timing with her daughter and niece, watching them play around the house.

Makayla R. Martin, 11, and Alyssa Whitfield, 6.

“I received a call and they told me that my daughter had been shot. [Danielle] said ‘it’s real come quick.’ I dropped everything and ran out of Dillard as fast as I could.

When she arrived at the scene, Whitfield said the only person she saw was her sister being taken away in an ambulance. She says she repeatedly asked to see her daughter before being told she had been airlifted to McLane Children’s in Temple.

Whitfield said a neighbor drove her to the hospital where doctors told her her daughter would not survive.

“[Alyssa] had such a lovely personality. She was a beautiful little girl who was always smiling and laughing,” Whitfield said.

She says she wants to remember her daughter as a happy child and not associate her with the tragic events that unfolded on Saturday.

She says she still doesn’t know how the shooting happened in the first place.

“I always felt like [Kendrick Gaines] loved my child that he loved Makayla because he was always so good to them, so nice to them giving them money buying them toys doing anything for them and i never would have thought that it would happen here,” says Whitfield, “God knows I wouldn’t have never allowed my child to be with someone I didn’t think she was safe with”

“My daughter was everything to me. It was, and still is, a joy – even though she’s not physically there – it’s been a joy to be her mother. I am grateful to God for the time I was able to spend with her.

Where there was once a crime scene tape, there is now a yard filled with dozens of windmills in the...
Where there was once a crime scene tape, there is now a yard filled with dozens of windmills in honor of the young girls after the community held a vigil at the house.(Megan Vanselow for KWTX)

Where there was once a crime scene tape, there is now a yard filled with dozens of windmills in the girl’s honor after the community held a vigil at the house on Monday night.

“I want to thank every parent and every child at this candlelight vigil. It broke me, but I appreciate it and am so grateful that so many people came forward to offer their condolences and show love and care for someone they didn’t know. It means a lot to me. I can only imagine Alyssa and Makayla were there smiling, playing in the pinwheels,” Whitfield said.

“[Alyssa and Makayla] were best friends, loved each other like they were sisters even though they were cousins.

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