Fayetteville father pushing for end to gun violence following his daughter's death

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
After daughter's death, Fayetteville dad calls for end to gun violence
It's been more than two months since Fayetteville resident Christopher Miller lost his daughter, Hayle Miller, to gun violence.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been more than two months since Fayetteville resident Christopher Miller lost his daughter, Hayle Miller, to gun violence.

The 16-year-old went with several friends to go watch a fight at a park on the corner of Stamper and McGougan streets following a football game.

"Because that's what kids do," said Miller.

Miller said his daughter was not part of the fight and was an innocent bystander -- later confirmed by detectives -- who was attempting to shield herself from the flying gunshots.

On Sept. 11, the family made the difficult decision to take Hayle off life support.

Since then, the elder Miller has been collaborating with city leaders in Fayetteville, including Mayor Mitch Colvin and Fayetteville police chief Gina Hawkins.

Miller told ABC11 the city and the police department have not been as cooperative as he'd like and that there has been constant miscommunication between the parties.

"I don't trust the current leadership to get it done the way I see fit," Miller said. "I do take it personal. Because every family member, every mother and father takes it personal. Someone in our situation can't begin to know the pain and the emptiness of losing someone in that manner."

At a news conference last Wednesday, which Miller claims came following a weekend meeting he had with Colvin, Miller said he was not invited to attend nor was he made aware of the event.

Miller taped a conversation with Colvin in an effort to record and preserve the efforts to keep his daughter's memory alive.

ABC11 reached out to the mayor's office for a response to Miller's complaints but has not heard back.

"Unjustified death is never called for," Miller added. "So my way of giving back to my daughter and to the people that lost people, especially in this city, is to go out and fight for people who can't fight for themselves or don't have the strength to fight for themselves."

Fayetteville unrolled the Save Our City Initiative, which plans to invest $850,000 to support crime-prevention strategies.

"We want people of all ages to promote peace and put the guns down," the news release said. "We need your help."

The City plans to use $150,000 of budgeted money for two Intelligence/Analytics Research Specialist positions These contracted positions will be used to "provide a focused approach to assess violent crime trends, assist in the analysis of victimology, and suspect history to enhance the prosecution of repeat offenders," a Fayetteville spokesperson told ABC11.

The City also said it is updating its crime-data software to maximize analytics needed for crime-fighting strategies.

But Miller said there is more to be done.

"I'm not a politician. I'm just a man of faith," said Miller. "I believe in God. I believe wholeheartedly in prayer and that's where I get my direction from."