KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- As the mother of seven-month-old Ja'Quail Mansaw pleaded for her son's killer to come forward, other moms who've had to endure the same thing rallied around her Wednesday night.
Balethia Washington has a message for the gunman behind the drive-by shooting that claimed her youngest child. It's a feeling shared by several other moms who know her grief.
Forest Grove Baptist Church opened its doors Wednesday so those moms could have a place to show their support for Washington, pray and also let a killer know he or she needs to step up and do the right thing.
Ramona Douglas shared a picture of her son Ramone, who she lost in October of 2012. That same year, Norrisha Reed lost her daughter, Jalisa. They know the pain and struggle Washington is going through.
Washington recalled for the women the day that a gunman opened fire on her home, with more than 50 bullets, killing Ja'Quail.
"I will never get over it because that's something I carried for nine months, and only held for seven," she said. “I'm hurting. I'm not even sleeping, my kids not even sleeping. To see my other kids hurt, hurts me."
Aside from her grief, Washington's bullet riddled home is now unlivable and police still have her car. For a few moments, she gets to rest it all on the shoulders of others who have been there.
"The biggest thing and the biggest support you can have is mothers that were affected sticking together and helping her through the process,” said organizer Tamika Pledger.
"It feels good... feels good," Washington said.
With new-found support, Washington turned her attention to find the gunman, who she said cowardly shot into her home, killing her defenseless young son.
"Turn yourself in. You were man enough to pull that trigger, now you need to turn yourself in. Hands down, nothing more to be said," she said.
If you know anything about Ja’Quail’s murder, call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Ja’Quail’s family with his funeral and other expenses.