Family identifies victim killed protecting her cousin


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Family members remember Vatrice “Chyna” Little as a funny, outgoing mother of four. Now, they also remember her as a hero.

AURORA, Colo. — Relatives of a woman killed on Friday night told 9NEWS she died protecting her cousin.  Family members identified Vatrice “Chyna” Little as the victim shot on Paris Street in Aurora. 

Her mother, Shalonda Hicks, remembered her as a funny, outgoing and loving mother of four. 

“Very beautiful, loved to take photos, loved tattoos and enjoyed having a good time,” Hicks explained with her three other children by her side.  “She had a real huge heart, especially around her little cousins and stuff. They always looked up to her and everything, so they were super protective over all them.”

On Friday, Hicks said Little was doing just that. She was at her cousin’s house on Paris Street in Aurora when they say someone came in shooting. 

Little’s cousin, Deandranay McCain, said she was supposed to be the target. 

“So, the situation is really hard,” she explained.  “We were in my room. She was braiding my hair and my child’s father got in somehow, some way. He was coming after me. The first shot, he shot once, and it flew past my ear and my cousin [Vatrice] was standing right next to me and she jumped in front of me to try and protect me. He kept shooting.”

On Friday Feb. 9, Aurora Police responded to a shooting on Paris Street. On Sunday, investigators arrested 32-year-old Kelynn Lewis. He’s facing a first-degree murder charge. 

“I feel like it’s my fault because that’s my child’s father. He was coming after me,” McCain said. “She definitely did die a hero, and I will forever be thankful.” 

McCain is still in shock over all that happened. She said her emotions are all over the place, but the greatest sadness she fells is when she thinks about Little’s family. 

“To them I just, I’m sorry,” she said as she choked back tears. “I hope they find peace within this messy situation.” 

Peace is hard to find in Hicks’s house right now. She described the situation as “horrific” and “devastating.”

“Her four children, they now have to suffer for the rest of they [sic] lives because of this tragedy that was so unnecessary, did not have to happen. It’s so unfair and it’s something that none of us can do over, can never get back,” McCain said as she began to cry. 

“She was very brave. She was in a situation that no one expect to be in. Vatrice did not deserve any of this,” McCain said. “She did not deserve it.  Her name is Chyna Little, Vatrice Little, and she was very much loved.” 

Hicks said Little was participating in a contest to be on the cover of Inked magazine. She loved tattoos and taking photos. They say they hope to keep her in the running in honor of some of her greatest passions. 

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Family identifies victim killed protecting her cousin

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