After a four hour stand-off with a SWAT team, two women and one man in the crime ravaged Central City neighborhood of New Orleans were taken in for questioning in the murder of 1-year-old Londyn Samuels, reports the Daily Mail.
Baby Londyn was in her 18-year-old babysitter’s arms, who was walking the toddler home from the park, when shots rang out. The young woman was hit twice, reportedly once in the neck and once in the chest, with that bullet exiting and piercing the chest of baby Londyn, according to the Times-Picayune.
“Our community rallies up every time something terrible and tragic like this happens, so please, if you know anything — this happened at a time of the evening when there are people in the streets, there’s people on the street — call Crimestoppers,” NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
“This is the time. This is when the people of New Orleans need to rally up, stand up and say, ‘This is what happened.’ Give us the information. Let us go make these people accountable for what they did,” Serpas said.
Londyn’s father, Keion Reed, 20, said that the babysitter, who managed to make it to a nearby home, called him right after the shooting.
“She said, ‘Kee, we got shot — me and Londyn,’” Reed told NBC News as he made plans for a Sept. 7 funeral. ”In the back of my head, this is a bad dream I haven’t woken up from yet.”
In a tragic twist of irony, Londyn’s mother Andrea Samuels, 22, was working at a non-profit cafe dedicated to anti-violence when the shooting happened.
“I’m hurt,” she said as she choked back sobs. “Because that was my baby.”
According to the Daily Mail, three children under the age of five have been killed in the Central City neighborhood since 2010.
A devastated Reed recalled how his daughter brought him joy every minute of every day, reports NBC.
“She just loved being around me and her mama. She was our world, you know? She was the highlight of every day,” he said.
“She was always happy. When I was down, she would crawl in the bed with me and say, ‘Dada,’ and hit me in the face to make me smile.”
As he mourned, he vented his anger toward the gunman.
“My daughter didn’t do anything to him,” he said. “Why did she have to die?”
New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell spoke out on behalf of frustrated citizens of New Orleans during a press conference, turning to Samuels and saying, “I could be in your shoes just like other mothers could be in your shoes. You are not alone.”
Unfortunately, babies being killed has increasingly become a horrific reality.
Andrew Thomas, 21, and his one-year-old son Drew Jackson were visiting family in East Oakland, California when they were fatally shot in their sleep on August, 7, 2013.
Father and son had traveled from Fresno, California to visit family and attend the funeral of a cousin, Al Rivera, 18, who was shot and killed last weekend. Thomas and baby Drew were asleep when at least one gunman entered the backyard of his aunt’s home at around 3:00 a.m. and sprayed the house with bullets.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Koman Willis, 33, was charged with first-degree murder in the March 11 shooting death of 6-month old Jonylah Watkins in Chicago, according to officials.
Willis was also charged with aggravated battery for shooting her father, Jonathan Watkins, according to Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Atty. Anita Alvarez.
Cornell Harvey, 26, and Eddie Tarver, 20, were charged with first- and second-degree murder in the death of 16-month-old Carter Scott in Baltimore, Maryland.
The child’s father, Rashaw Scott, 22, who was critically injured in the attack, believes that Harvey set him up to be killed.
On March 21, 2013, Antonio Santiago, 13-months-old, was fatally shot in the face while being strolled by his mother, Sherry West in Brunswick, Georgia. De’ Marquise Elkins, 17, was found guilty of murder, while his alleged accomplice, Dominique Lang, 15, has a pending court date on 7 counts of murder. The teens are accused of killing baby Antonio after West refused to hand over money.
Despite a $5,000 reward, Serpas said that only one tip had come in concerning 1-year-old Londyn Samuels.
The three people brought in for questioning have not been charged with a crime.
Investigators are asking that anyone with details that could help them solve Londyn’s murder to please call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.
See a photo gallery of baby Londyn by clicking here.