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A young Florida mother was shot to death while trying to shield her baby from gunfire this week.
K'Mia Simmons, 21, was killed on Tuesday while riding in a car with her 1-year-old daughter in her arms and her 2-year-old daughter in the backseat, officials said at a Wednesday press conference. The father of one of Simmons' children, Praise Lovett, Jr., was driving the car when someone fired at them from another vehicle, local outlet WTVT reports.
"When all of that took place, she was a real mom. She covered her baby with her body to make sure nothing happened to that baby," Simmons’ mother, Linda Simmons, told the outlet.
While Simmons' two daughters were not injured, the toddler was almost shot, Chief Anthony Holloway said at the press conference. He added that one of the bullets "went right through the booster seat, so it was probably the position of the baby -- that's the only reason why that baby is alive today.”
The chief clarified that investigators believe that the mom "was not the intended target." He said that they believe the gunman were looking for her boyfriend. Now, police would like to speak to both the unidentified shooter and Lovett, WTVT reports. After the shooting, he reportedly dropped the kids off at a relative’s house and has not been seen since.
"You’re not a man,” said Lashawn Lester, the victim's sister. referencing Lovett during a Thursday press conference. "You’re a coward because any real man you wouldn’t have left my sister to die on the streets.”
Linda Simmons said her daughter was going to college to become a nurse and had hopes of becoming a gynecologist.
"Their mother is all that they know," she said of K'Mia Simmons' children, adding that the two “were always at her hip. She was fully committed to her children. She was not one to go to clubs and hang out."
As other relatives and attendees got emotional, she tearfully pleaded with members of the public to come forward if they have information on the shooting.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call St. Petersburg Police at 727-893-7780, or call Crime Stoppers of Pinellas at 800-873-TIPS. Tipsters may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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