While still trying to come to terms with the loss of 17-year-old Ta-jae Warner, her family is asking for some help to properly lay the teen to rest.
Warner died in Bellevue Hospital on Tuesday night from the injuries she sustained after four teens — two boys and two girls — allegedly beat her over the weekend when she was defending her younger brother, according to published reports.
The attack occurred near the Ocean Towers on West 24th Street in Coney Island on April 2 when the teen was heading to the store with her 11-year-old brother, the New York Daily News reported. The group of teenage attackers then allegedly made a comment before assaulting her.
Warner was allegedly thrown to the ground and punched and kicked, according to PIX11 New York. The teen was then allegedly knocked unconscious after her head hit the pavement.
According to the Daily News, 18-year-old Sarina Agard-Forde was arrested in connection to the assault and is accused of striking Warner until she was knocked out. Agard-Forde has been charged with felony and misdemeanor assault — even though prosecutors are looking to put forth more serious charges. The other three teens are still being sought by police, who are looking at surrounding surveillance video for some leads.
Warner was declared brain dead on April 3 as a result of the injuries and her family decided to remove her from life support on Tuesday night and have her organs donated.
The family decided to start a GoFundMe campaign in order to raise money for Warner’s funeral as well as medical expenses and to help the family attend the funeral services.
The campaign page was filled with words of support for the family, and kept seeing donations rolling in — with over $3,200 donated as of Wednesday afternoon.
“My heart goes out to the family. She was my granddaughter best friend. She was always at the house. You didn't see one without the other. My prayers and condolence goes out to both of these families. You not only lost a daughter but my granddaughter lost a best friend,” wrote Maria Olds on the page.
The teen’s father attended a makeshift memorial on Tuesday night in the lobby of his daughter’s apartment building where community members, friends and family voiced their outrage over the attack, PIX11 reported.
"We as parents we think we can protect our children at every given time," Arthur Warner told PIX11. "It's not like that. Reality just hit me in the face and it's not going to go away for some time now."
He added that he suggests his daughter’s other attackers give themselves up because “the one that they do have in custody will sing. She’s going to sing her tune.”
Tony Herbert, a community activist and founder of the Advocates Without Borders Network, shared videos of the memorial for Warner on his Facebook and also called on any witnesses to approach police and help bring the attackers to justice.
“We’re here to stand with the family in whatever way we can to get those that are involved or calling them to turn themselves in,” Herbert said in one video. “We’ll make some noise and hope we can get those individuals to turn themselves in or get somebody to turn them in.”