Hundreds mourn slain child in New Orleans

AP News

12/23/2011 9:25:20 PM - AP News

Hundreds of people have paid their respects to a 23-month-old girl killed in New Orleans in a drive-by shooting.

Kiera Holmes was playing outside a housing complex Sunday when she was killed by a stray bullet. Hundreds of mourners showed up Friday for her funeral.

WWL-TV said (http://bit.ly/u1hxm4 ) Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas and Sheriff Marlin Gusman were among those in attendance.

The death of the little girl raised awareness about the city's alarming murder rate and prompted residents and city leaders to call for action.

Holmes was killed just days before her second birthday.

Holmes' family thanked the mourners who were in attendance and handed out cards that said, "Your presence, thoughts and prayers helped to lighten our burden and added strength..."