KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A mom was wounded and her seven-month-old baby fatally struck in a drive-by shooting near North Early Street and Sanford. All night and day, police have been looking for the shooter who opened fire on the family just minutes after the mom and her children arrived home last night.
Police say the shooter drove by and repeatedly shot at the house. When the gunfire stopped, innocent baby Jaquail Mansaw was taken to a hospital where he later died.
Balethia Washington said on Sunday night she and her left her two little girls, ages six and two, and seven-month-old Jaquail had just left Washington's mother's house in KCK.
"Me and my babies just walked in the house. Within three minutes and we heard gunshots," Washington said.
Someone drove by, sprayed their small gray house on North Early Street with multiple bullets and then quickly sped off.
"So whoever it was saw us go in the house. Whoever it was, they saw children," Washington said.
The terrified mom, grazed in her leg by a bullet, worried about her screaming daughters and her baby.
“He was crawling and I picked him up and tried to protect him," Washington said.
But, she couldn't. Relatives say Jaquail, who was nicknamed "Smoothie", was shot once in his back. They say the bullet went through his stomach and out his leg. Several hours after the drive-by shooting, the baby died at the hospital.
"He was only seven months old and he fought. He fought hard," Wenderlin Gardner, Jaquail’s grandmother, said. “He was an innocent bystander.”
"I was about to bathe him and they took my baby away from me," Washington said.
Police say they found at least 22 shell casings at the scene. Investigators don't know if the shooting was random or if someone inside the house was the intended target.
When the gunshots rang out, 25-year-old Washington and her 27-year-old husband were home with three of their six children.
"He was a happy, free, loving baby," Washington said of Jaquail. "Kept a smile on his face, just got his first three teeth, happiest baby in the world, and y’all took him away from me."
Now this grieving mom offers a desperate, tearful plea.
"Somebody come forward, please. Please for my baby," she said.
The family has lived at the home for just a few months. They've set up a fund to help pay for Jaquail's funeral expenses. Anyone who knows anything about the shooting should call KCK police or the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.