KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County, Missouri prosecutors have charged a 33-year-old man in connection to the shooting death of 22-year-old Shayla Curts earlier this week.
Emmett Williams was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Family and friends are reacting to the killing and say Curts was a mother of two with one on the way.
Dezirae Curts tells FOX4 Shayla was her whole world. She said their family is beyond broken and the killer stole not only one life but two because Shayla was 31 weeks pregnant.
“No mother should ever have to bury their child,” Dezirae said. “And she’s burying a child and a grandchild at the same time.”
According to court documents, on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Kansas City police officers responded to a shooting at a house near E. 49th Street and Bellefontaine Avenue.
When officers arrived at the scene, they located the victim suffering from a bullet wound to the head. She was confirmed dead at the scene.
Court documents say one witness told detectives Williams came to his home to hang out in an upstairs bedroom. Curts went down stairs to the living room. A few minutes later the witness said Williams said he was leaving, and about a minute later there was the sound of a gunshot.
The witness said he went downstairs, saw the deceased victim and the front door open. He then saw somebody running north on Bellefontaine, according to court documents. The witness told detectives there was never an altercation between the suspect or victim that night.
Court documents say Williams called 911 early Wednesday morning to turn himself in.
He told detectives the victim was always antagonizing him, and that he is typically unaffected by them, court documents say. Williams said he recently suffered the loss of multiple family members and had not been managing those emotions well.
He told detectives that mental health issues and illegal drug use caused him to “snap.”
This time, she was on the living room couch as he was walking past her when he made the decision to pull a gray, 9mm Jimenez firearm and shoot her. Police located the weapon later in a wooded area.
Family members said Williams and Shayla Curts were not friends. They said the suspect made several advances toward her, which she rejected.
“All I could think about is what kind of monster can look at a 22-year-old pregnant girl and just shoot her just straight in the face like she doesn’t matter, like she’s not even human,” Dezirae said.
Brittany Reel is a close family friend. She changed Shayla’s diapers and was in the room when Shayla gave birth to her first child.
“To me, that is a double homicide. Me personally, I have two nieces. My sister gave birth to both of my nieces at 29 weeks and they are thriving and they are in school,” Reel said.
The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement “We were aware of our victim’s pregnancy. That will be reviewed through our normal process of Homicide Review, in which the office will look at facts and the law to determine if other charges are appropriate.”
Reel said they’ll remember Shayla, an artistic soul who was selfless as they come.
“She has such a beautiful soul. Such a sweetheart. She is an amazing…was…I can’t get past that. An amazing young woman.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Curts’ family.
Williams is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Dec. 19, for a bond review hearing at 1:30 p.m.
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