ATLANTA, GA -- Natasha Hall was having an early morning meal at 3:00 am with friends at Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, when she received the news that her 23 year old brother, Michael “Mikey” McKissic II, had been shot. A sister’s worst nightmare had materialized and her adrenaline and fear went into overdrive.
She recounted, “I received a phone call from my little sister, Imani, who was in tears. All she could say was, “‘Tasha, Mikey’s been shot.’” She said this twice in a row as if she were in shock. My sister told me that my immediate family was still at home. My heart dropped…”
At this time, Natasha’s extended family was just receiving the news. But Mikey was already gone but the family did not tell her at that time.
Natasha asked her sister to call her when they arrived at the hospital. She told her friends that she had to go and that her brother had been shot.
She was on a mission to get back to Lansing, Michigan and prayed that she would make it home before he passed away. While speeding to get back home, Natasha, went though the emotions of denial and shock. She wondered how did this happen to her brother, who was a kind and gentle person.
“When I got home, I hurriedly put my two children into the car. I did not pack and drove the longest 10 hours of my life. I called every 10 minutes to get updates and no one would tell me anything,” says Natasha.
After a while, no one answered up her calls. As a feeling of dread passed over her, Natasha struggled with the unanswerable question, “But, why and who?” Bouts of crying began to consume her on her drive. With mixed emotions, she sped towards Michigan while trying to hide her tear filled pleas to God that her brother would still be alive from her children.
Her son who was 11-years-old at the time slept but her daughter who was 7–years-old began to sob in the back seat. She asked me if Uncle Mikey was dead and I just lost it. I didn’t even know how to explain what had happened to my child.
Finally, after not receiving a response from her parents, she frantically called her aunt, Margaret Hall, searching for answers. Someone finally picked up the phone. Natasha began pleading with and questioning her aunt.
Natasha said, “My Aunt Margaret was trying to be as calm as possible. She told me that everyone was at home and I wanted to know why they had left him by himself! She said ‘He is fine baby. He is resting and the doctors need to keep him.’ I pulled over.”
At that moment, Natasha knew that her brother was dead. She pushed family members for information about where he was shot. After driving for hours and dropping her children off to relatives, her next stop was to where he was murdered.
Two Men Shot
According to the Lansing Police Department, officers were dispatched to a loud party call at approximately 12:30 am and went to a house in the Grand and Elm Street area. At that time the residents were warned about the noise and they complied so the officers left the area.
At 1:00 am a shooting was reported in the 1100 block of S. Grand. The officers learned two men had been shot. Both men were taken to the hospital where Mikey passed away and the other man was in critical condition. The other young man was in his 20’s as well and was from Lansing too. No arrests were made at the time and the case is currently a cold case.
Mikey was only 23 years old. Murdered on August 1, 2015, he died nearly 2 months shy of his 24th birthday. Instead of celebrating, his family buried him on August 7, 2015. His funeral was held at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and the building was filled to capacity. Over 1,500 family and friends packed in and those who could not fit in the church were in classrooms throughout the church watching on screens.
He is laid to rest at Mt. Hope Cemetery.
My Brother is Gone
Standing in front of the house where her brother was killed was a surreal experience. She thought about her parents and what they saw when they had to identify her brother.
“I really didn’t know how to feel, crazy thing is that the feeling you have is like none other that you could experience. You expect something so awful to be untrue but deep in my soul, I had a feeling he was gone before they even told me. I had a feeling like a piece of me was forcibly removed from my body and extinguished. I was just numb and grief stricken. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I was worried about my mother. I’m a mother and I couldn’t even imagine losing my child at any age,” said Natasha.
Editor’s Note: This story is still evolving and will be continued in the next edition.