Caitlin Doherty ’26
On the evening of Thursday, April 20, Se’Cret Pierce, a twelve-year-old student at Milner Middle School in north Hartford, was shot in the head and the stomach during a drive-by shooting, leaving her in critical condition. She passed away early Friday morning. Three others, believed to be the targets of the gunfire, were shot during this incident, according to a Hartford Courant article. Following her death, the Hartford community has come together in mourning for the loss of Se’Cret’s beautiful, young life. On Saturday, Mothers United Against Violence, a Hartford-based organization that works to honor victims of gun violence and prevent further loss, held a vigil for Se’Cret. In their Facebook message announcing the vigil, Mothers United Against Violence urged the community to come together to mourn this loss as a collective. “Solidarity divides grief, and multiplies community empowerment, bringing people together to work toward preventing violence in our community. We know that responding to this challenge takes an entire community/village coming together…” A large group gathered at the vigil, with the community joining together to mourn and demand change in remembrance of a young, shining life which was taken far too soon.
Se’Cret’s family has been affected by the unending, overwhelming pain of gun violence before. Ten years ago, only a few miles away from where she was shot, Se’Cret’s father Shane was killed in a shooting, according to an article by the Hartford Courant. Only two at the time of his death, Se’Cret spent her life not knowing her father. Now, her family and loved ones must mourn another devastating, unnecessary loss because of gun violence. Se’Cret’s aunt Khaya has organized a GoFundMe page to support her family after their lives have changed forever with this sudden, shocking loss. In her message, she shared about the devastation she feels after the sudden death of her niece. “My 12 yr old niece Se’Cret was a strong personality who made a huge impact on everyone she came across. She was big on loyalty and love. She was the youngest of the bunch and was loved unconditionally from her whole family… Se’Cret leaves behind her mother and younger sister and brother. This has left the whole city in shock. She was just a child enjoying life and it was taken from her too soon.”