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Family of Aaliyah Gonzalez hosts 'Aaliyah Day' on the anniversary of the Brooklyn Day mass shooting

Aaliyah Day
Posted at 10:54 PM, Jul 02, 2024

GLENN BURNIE, Md. — Brooklyn Day used to be a phrase used for an annual block party ahead of the July 4th holiday in the Brooklyn Homes neighborhood.

Now that same phrase is tied to one of the most notable mass shootings in Maryland history.

On Tuesday, the mayor's office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, Safe Streets, and a number of other agencies were out on the same street providing services to the neighborhood.

Although it has been a year, police still have not charged anyone with the murder of the two victims.

Mayor Scott saying the investigation is still ongoing, and he sent a message to those responsible.

“I would tell them that they’re cowards, and I would tell them that your basic petty conflict should not result in someone losing their life and dozens of others being shot," says Mayor Brandon Scott.

One of those lives lost was that of 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez.

15 minutes away from Brooklyn Homes at a park in Glenn Burnie, dozens of people celebrated her life.

“This is what Brooklyn they were supposed to be supposed to be somewhere that you can have fun and enjoy yourself and enjoy the company with your friends and stuff like that, so we just want to show people how you really supposed to do it," says Rashon Shelbourne.

Rashon Shelborne, Aaliyah’s older brother, says he thinks about that day often.

“It’s a year ago, but for me, it just feels like yesterday, like I still remember how much everything from that day."

His mother, Krystal Gonzalez, says although Aaliyah has been gone for a year, she still feels her presence, especially within the last two days.

“I found myself making the exact same meal that I made that day, and that blew my mind, so with those realizations and knowing that here we are on July 2, I was determined to make this a day of celebration," says Krystal.

Gonzalez says this was something she felt she had to do, not just for Aaliyah and the other 29 victims, but for a generation of people affected by similar tragedies.

“That is an effect of decades-long issues that have been ignored, so we’ve got to redirect to our culture is going, because we are glorifying the very things that are killing us. What we’ve got to restore, is respect, pride and dignity, back into every individual so that you know when you have respect for yourself, when you have pride in your community, and when you walk with dignity, you were not going out and shooting and killing people,” says Krystal Gonzalez.

Krystal Gonzalez says her family will continue to host Aaliyah Day each year around the anniversary of her death.