NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Virginian-Pilot reporter Sierra Jenkins became the headline when a gunman opened fire outside a Granby Street nightclub back in March.
Twenty-five-year-old Jenkins, 24-year-old Maquel Andrews, and 25-year-old Malik Harris were killed in what police say started as a disturbance over a spilled drink.
Quinay Gatling, Jenkins’ stepsister, was asleep when her family learned of the tragedy.
“It was around like 4 or 5 a.m. and my mom had come into my room and said, ‘Si-Si [Sierra] got shot’,” said Gatling, who is 16 years old.
Days later, in an eruption of words, Gatling penned a song for Sierra titled ‘Granby Street.’
“It started off as a way of releasing my emotions; I never really had intentions of releasing it to deal with so that’s kinda how it started out,” said Gatling who often writes lyrics when she has a message to share.
“I sampled in a few things from the news; the visual there was a lot of stuff that was incorporated in that song to kind of sew the emotions that I was feeling while writing it and the emotions of other people dealing with her death,” said Gatling.
Her teachers at the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach encouraged her to enter her son titled “Granby Street” in the production category for the National Technical Student Association contest.
In June, the song came in third place. The win was bittersweet.
“When I got back to the hotel room, it was like well I got third place but she’s[Sierra]still not here,” said Gatling.
“I want them to listen to it and want to make a change and be the change,” said Gatling, who will attend Tallwood High School as a junior in the fall.