WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today remembered the life of nine-year old Markiya Dickson, a third-grader from Chesterfield County who was shot and killed on May 26, 2019 during a community picnic.
In a speech on the floor of the U.S. House, Spanberger spoke about Markiya’s legacy, and she honored Dickson’s parents for their ongoing commitment to ending gun violence in the greater Richmond area. Additionally, she promised to continue her own efforts to advance gun safety legislation in the House.
A full transcript of Spanberger’s remarks is provided below. Click here to watch her speech.
I rise today to tell the story of Markiya Simone Dickson. She was an energetic, kind, and spunky nine-year old girl.
She was a beloved daughter and an adored sister. She was in 3rd grade, and she was preparing to sing a Justin Bieber song in her school’s upcoming talent show.
On May 26, 2019, Markiya and her family attended a community picnic in Richmond, Virginia. And from across the park, a random gunshot went through the crowd—and this senseless, cruel act of gun violence took Markiya’s life.
During and since this unimaginable time, Markiya’s parents—Mark Whitfield and Ciara Dickson—have demonstrated extraordinary strength, determination, and courage.
They continue fighting to ensure Markiya’s name and her beautiful life are never forgotten. And they stand by their steadfast wish to fight back against gun violence in our communities—so that other parents will never have to experience the pain they feel following Markiya’s death.
Markiya was beloved by those who knew her, and the Richmond, Virginia community stands with her family at this time.
Together, we share her story, we mourn her death, and we promise to fight for a safer community for all children.
To date, law enforcement has not publicly identified or arrested any suspect(s) in connection to the death of Dickson.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting. Any individual with relevant information is encouraged to contact the FBI at 804-261-1004 or go to tips.fbi.gov.