A young mom had just strapped her 2-year-old toddler into his car seat on Tuesday, when a stray bullet from a random shootout at a strip mall in south Sacramento, Calif., killed her instantly. Another gunman was also killed and five others were wounded.
As Monique Nelson (pictured above), 30, placed her son in the car seat of her Chevy Tahoe SUV (pictured below), she got caught in a crossfire. Nelson was shot in the chest and was discovered by police slumped over her child. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators believe the young woman did not have any connections to the shooting and was just an innocent bystander. The young child, who was unharmed, has been temporarily placed under child-protective services.
At around 1 p.m., two armed men walked into Fly Cuts & Styles (pictured below), a popular barbershop, and opened fire. The two patrons who were in the shop also returned fire. The shootout spilled into the parking lot. One of the gunmen was seen getting into a late model white sedan that sped away.
Richard Nelson Jr. , Monique's brother, told ABC News 10 that his sister was a single mother who worked as a supervisor at their family-run bookstore at the Sacramento International Airport. Nelson plans to get custody of his sister's child:
"I think it's tragic. I can't believe it; it makes me angry. I want to know what these men were doing," said Nelson. "I'm not sure why she would go (to the barbershop), but I know she does go and take her son there for a haircut from time to time."
Five of the men were injured during the gun battle. Graelin Madison, 39, and one of the workers in the shop was shot in the ankle. A 28-year-old man was wounded in the shoulder and leg, and a fourth man, 27, was hit in the leg. A fifth man, 37, was shot in the stomach. Madison received treatment on the scene by paramedics, and the other three victims were taken to a nearby hospital.
Two of the men who might be connected to the shooting, according to police, had been dropped off at different hospitals later in the day. Marvion Barksdale, 20, who had been shot in the chest and categorized as critical, died after undergoing surgery. A 27-year-old man was shot in the leg.
Witnesses told police they heard anywhere from 10 to 15 gunshots. Investigators discovered 14 shell casings on the ground.
Thus far, there have been no motives uncovered. The sheriff's department identified its first suspect as 24-year-old Lonnie Orlando Mitchell of Sacramento. Investigators have not stated whether Mitchell was responsible for firing the shots that killed Nelson or Barksdale but he is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon and parole violation.
Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran told the Associated Press, "We believe there are many people out there who were involved in the shooting and they will be held accountable. We need people withholding information to know that they can come forward," Curran said. "Bottom line: we have a completely innocent victim who was shot."
We believe there are many people out there who were involved in the shooting and they will be held accountable. We need people withholding information to know that they can come forward," Curran said. "Bottom line: we have a completely innocent victim who was shot." ..Watch the sad story here:
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