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Funeral set as Irondale family grieves 9-year-old's tragic shooting death

Published: Feb. 8, 2016 at 1:27 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2016 at 1:27 AM CST
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Kimberly Reylander (Source: WBRC video)
Kimberly Reylander (Source: WBRC video)
Kimberly Reylander was a third grade student at Irondale Community School. Source: Clare...
Kimberly Reylander was a third grade student at Irondale Community School. Source: Clare Huddleston/WBRC

IRONDALE, AL (WBRC) - An Irondale family is grieving the loss of a 9-year-old girl, who police say was accidentally shot and killed by her 3-year-old brother.

Family members identified the girl as Kimberly Reylander.

Reylander will be laid to rest on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. Visitation will be on Tuesday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

"Making Kimi's arrangements was the hardest thing I have ever had to do," Rodney Watson, Kimberly's maternal grandfather, said.

"She was a beautiful child, straight-A student, she loved God, she loved singing at church, she was just a precious angel," he said.

Watson said Kimberly's brother got hold of a loaded gun on a nightstand at his great-grandparents' home in the 2300 block of Monroe Drive around 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The boy accidentally shot Kimberly while she was sitting on the floor in a bedroom.

"Still is disbelief," Watson said on Sunday morning, "You know, I've always had this thought that this could only happen to someone else, you know you only hear about these things, but when it hits home it's hard."

Watson says Kimberly loved art. In fact, one of her drawings was published in a calendar at her grandfather's work.

Next to the artwork was Kimberly's picture. Watson said that's how he wants to remember his precious angel.

"We just don't understand why these things happen," Watson said. "I feel that God had a reason 'cause he knows our future and then he just brought her on home."

Watson said on top of all their grief, it's been hard reading comments on Facebook.

He's asking the community to please pray for them.

"I just ask everybody to keep their thoughts and their comments, unless it's offering up prayers for strength for us, to keep them to themselves because it is hard for us," Watson said.

Kimberly was in the third grade at Irondale Community School. The school's sign read "We love you Kimi" on Monday morning.

Principal Chuck Yeager said the school would have 10 grief counselors available for students on Monday.

Irondale police say at this time it doesn't appear any charges will be filed.

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