A young Florida woman was shot to death on Tuesday evening while in her car with her 1-year-old daughter in her arms, and her 2-year-old daughter in the back seat.
The young mother, identified by St. Petersburg Police as 21-year-old K’Mia Simmons, was found by officers suffering from a gunshot wound after they received a call of a shooting at about 6:15 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
According to police reports, Simmons was in the passenger seat of a dark-colored Volvo sedan driven by a man during the city’s rush hour on Tuesday evening. Her two children were also in the car, including the toddler sitting in the back in a booster seat. At the intersection of 22nd Street South and 18th Avenue South, a car pulled up alongside them and an unknown person began firing shots into the Volvo.
St. Petersburg Police chief Anthony Holloway reported at a press conference on Wednesday that Simmons, who was struck, apparently saved her toddler’s life during the horrible incident:
“One of the bullets went right through the booster seat, so it was probably the position of the baby [pulled up by Simmons] that’s the only reason why that baby is alive today.”
Wow. Such a powerful act in death, to be so selfless in a terrible situation as to use her own body to shield her children from a hail of bullets. Heroic! The young mother was rushed to a local hospital, but she died hours later due to her injuries.
Cops are confident Simmons was not the intended target of the shooting, and instead are interested in speaking with the driver of the Volvo. That man fled after the gunfire — taking both children with him, and leaving Simmons wounded and alone — and police are hoping to track him down to find more information. According to Fox 13 Tampa Bay, the Volvo driver is the father of one of Simmons’ children.
“[Simmons] was not the intended target, but that bullet struck and killed her, so now those two children do not have a mother, that family doesn’t have a sister, aunt, daughter. She is gone.”
So, so awful. According to Simmons’ mother Linda, who spoke at a press conference on Thursday, the deceased was one of seven children. She was studying nursing in college at the time of her death, and had dreams of one day becoming a gynecologist.
Linda mourned her beloved daughter’s death during the emotional press conference, adding:
“[For the children] their mother is all that they know. They were always at her hip. She was fully committed to her children. She was not one to go to clubs and hang out. It’s sad that we have to go through this. We are not the first family [to lose a loved one to gun violence.] The gun violence has got to stop. I want justice for her. She was a young lady who did not deserve this.”
Such an awful, awful tragedy. Here’s more on the shooting itself:
As well as the aftermath, including the family’s press conference plea to track down the shooter:
Gut-wrenching. Our hearts are with the grieving Simmons family as they grapple with the sudden loss of such a beloved young mother.
Rest In Peace…
[Image via Fox 13 Tampa Bay/YouTube]