Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly spelled Looking Cloud’s name; this has been corrected.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Shaunisti Gary will forever be 24; the young mother, daughter, sister and niece was shot and killed on February 22. 20-year-old Sativa Looking Cloud is charged with murder, but no matter the outcome of the case, Gary’s aunt Tonia Marshall says her niece will never come back.
“We’ll never get closure,” Marshall said. “I don’t think any amount of justice will ever be enough.”
Marshall describes Gary as outgoing and eager to help anybody. To help her cope with the pain, Marshall attends a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women support group in Rosebud.
“It makes you feel a lot better,” Marshall said. “I mean, when you have that support because you’re surrounded by the same people that have similar things happen to their family members, it brings a big lift off your chest, if only for an hour.”
There’s power in unity and real value in having someone else reach out.
“We try to call everybody that we know that has lost a loved one or is missing a loved one or anything to come,” Marshall said. “Best we can do is support, listen to them. Some of them come frustrated, some of them come sad, some of them come mad, but we’re still here, we’re always here.”
Starr Walking Eagle of Rosebud lost her cousin Finale Night Shield to violence; the man responsible for Night Shield’s death is in federal prison serving time for second-degree murder. Finale’s family members are still coming to terms with their loss.
“There’s so much confusion and isolation that you don’t even know what to do or think sometimes, and that just knowing that somebody’s there with you just to stand with you brings a lot of comfort to you,” Walking Eagle said.
Even if it’s just for a few minutes a month, the meetings are making a difference.
“That healing of being together, like I said even if it’s for five, 10 minutes it feels a lot better,” Marshall said. “It, because we have this thing called ‘Wolakota,’ and it means being together as a family. We’re all related in some way.”