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'She was a go-getter:' Family reflects on life of woman killed by ex-boyfriend

'Kelvi was a go-getter, she had an entrepreneurial spirit about her, she was as beautiful, as she was smart,' Ricky Aiken says
Kelvi McCray shot and killed by ex-boyfriend, police say. 03082024
Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 18:40:06-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A West Palm Beach family is grieving the loss of a woman who was shot multiple times by her ex-boyfriend.

"I wrote in my journal last night that the tragedy isn't that she died, we all must go, the way Kelvi went," Ricky Aiken said. "The tragedy is probably how she died and how old she was when she died."

Aiken is the uncle of 18-year-old Kelvi McCray.

"Kelvi was a go-getter, she had an entrepreneurial spirit about her, she was as beautiful, as she was smart," he said.

Kelvi McCray and her family
Kelvi McCray and her family at her graduation last year.

McCray was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend 19-year-old Keisean Shaw Wednesday night.

"I never would have thought this would happen," Aiken said.

He said the family is devastated and he will never get over the murder of his niece.

WATCH: Ricky Aiken reflects on the life of his niece with WPTV's Todd Wilson

Victim's uncle shares the life his niece led before her death

Aiken said Shaw snuck into the house when someone took out the trash. Shaw died Thursday at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the head. According to police, Shaw lived with McCray and was upset over the break-up.

"I believe the prevailing message through this experience is that we should be highlighting the need to protect our girls through making sure they know what to do if they find themselves in a situation like this," Aiken said.

Ricky Aiken Inner City Innovators founder 03082024
Inner City Innovators founder Ricky Aiken speaks with WPTV's Todd Wilson on the death of his niece.

He said the Inlet Grove graduate loved people and enjoyed helping others. He said there is strength to be gained through tragedy.

"I see the message in that, because if that young man wanted to do anything, it was to bring a sense of devastation," Aiken said. "I think allowing it to not devastate us, speaks volumes to who Kelvi was as a person."

Kelvi McCray and family
Kelvi McCray and her family during an outing.

Aiken said McCray was a shining light and source of inspiration for his family and her death will help countless other young women and men.

"We will continue to honor her with our life, with our intentions and with the work I do through my organization Inner City Innovators," Aiken said. "Kelvi has left a legacy and there's not much more you could ask for a life well lived."