NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The family of a Sanborn teen who was shot and killed over the summer is doing all they can to spread the word of her death.
They hope this will lead to more tips about what happened and lead to an arrest.
It’s been over four months since 18-year-old McKenzie Munt was shot in a car in Niagara Falls. She died several days later. Her family is seeking justice and is pleading for the public’s help.
Munt is remembered for her infectious laugh and energetic personality. At the start of the summer, Munt was behind the wheel in the area of Falls Street and 19th Street, where she was shot.
“It was very devastating … it was just very traumatic, you just kind of stop and you’re like wait, my Kenzie,” said Kourtney Busenlehner, Munt’s aunt.
Munt was a member of the Tuscarora Indian Reservation. Family members describe her as silly and loving and say when she was killed, she was about 11 weeks pregnant. They also say she suffered from mental health issues and, at times, fell into the wrong crowd.
“What she needed was that unconditional love, and when she found out she was pregnant, it just seemed like she was really trying to go forward and turn her life around,” Busenlehner said.
Since her murder, no arrests have been made. In an effort to raise awareness of her death, Munt’s family has been putting up banners in the area of the shooting and in high traffic areas.
“We just want the peace of mind more than anything. Any information will help,” said Kurt Williams, her uncle.
“It’s just very discouraging, it feels like it’s not going anywhere, so it got to the point where you’re just frustrated because you don’t feel like nothing’s happening,” Busenlehner said.
Munt’s family hopes more people speak up for the slain teenager, who can no longer speak up for herself.
“At the end of the day, she was an 18-year-old kid; she didn’t even start life really,” Busenlehner said.
Both the Niagara Falls Police Department and the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office say they are actively investigating Munt’s death.
Anyone with any information about this shooting death is asked to call the Niagara Falls Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at (716) 286-4553 or the General Information Number at (716) 286-4711.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.