‘My baby didn’t deserve this,’ mom says of drive-by killing
Detroit — Jennifer Murray said her 6-month-old daughter, Miracle, was her alarm clock.
Every morning the baby would wake up at 7 a.m. just in time for Murray to get her other children ready for school.
On Friday, Murray pleaded for the public’s help in finding the person who shot and killed Miracle in front of a home on the 18000 block of Winthrop.
“I just hope somebody speaks up,” she said, holding back tears. “Turn him in, my baby didn’t deserve this.”
Pastors from across the city have united in support of Miracle’s family as they seek answers in the baby’s shooting death.
They gathered Friday at First Baptist Institutional Church to call for an end to the gun violence that has claimed the lives of at least two city children in the past month.
A 3-year-old girl was shot dead in a west side home Easter morning. Police think Miracle’s death could be retaliation for the killing of A’Naiya Montgomery, shot after a man kicked in the front door around 2:10 a.m. and began shooting.
“We have to drive home a reality that killing anyone — child, elderly — is wrong,” said the Rev. Cory J. Chavis of Victory Community Church. “We need to work together to make sure that violence ends in the city of Detroit.”
Police said Miracle was shot last Saturday while a 24-year-old man was playing on the home’s front lawn with three children — an 11-month-old, the 6-month-old and a 4-month-old.
The 24-year-old was also struck by gunfire and is expected to recover. Family members say the man was a relative but it is unclear if he was the target.
Police say the suspects were in a car that drove by the house a couple of times before the shooting. On the first pass by the house, three suspects were in the car, Police Chief James Craig said. On the second drive by the house, there were two. One got out, stood across the street from the man and children and opened fire.
The car is described as late model silver Saturn SUV. Police do not have a license plate number.
Chavis spoke at a podium surrounded by other pastors and Miracle’s family members who sobbed and hugged each other during the event.
Miracle’s older sister, Kyra Street, and cousin Kiara Murray were in tears as they began to speak.
“She didn’t deserve this,” Street said. “She didn’t do nothing to nobody. She never got the chance to live her life. She didn’t even get to see her first birthday.”
Added Murray: “Can you please just turn yourself in? We just want justice, that’s all.”
Other speakers discussed community initiatives that are working to curb crime on city streets. Among those is Ceasefire Detroit — a violence prevention program committed to changing community norms about violence.
The Rev. Darren Penson of Greater Quinn African Methodist Episcopal Church said the killer needs to come forward and community members who have information about that person’s whereabouts need to speak up.
“We love you because we are Christians and we have forgiven you,” Penson said in reference to the person who killed Miracle. “But you have a responsibility now. You have committed the crime so it’s time for you to accept responsibility as a man.”