If ever there was a reason that you should need a license to be a parent, this is it.
Meet Nafes Monroe.
According to NBC News, he was arrested last weekend in connection with a shooting in Philadelphia which occurred on October 19 where his 11-month old child was shot multiple times while Monroe was engaged in a drug deal.
At a news conference, Anthony Voci Jr, the chief of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Homicide unit announced that Monroe is charged with recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to authorities, 11-month old Yaseem Munir Jenkins was in the back seat of a vehicle with him and his girlfriend at the time of the shooting.
They child sustained gunshot wounds to the head, torso and rear of his body. Authorities also previously stated that if the baby did survive, it would likely be a quadriplegic and have no chance at a full recovery.
To make matters worse, after the shooting Monroe drove the baby to a house instead of to the hospital. When he finally did take the child to the hospital:
“He never looked back and went into the wind so to speak,” Voci said, indicating that Monroe had no concern for the baby.
In other words, he dropped him off and left.
Investigators say that Monroe took the child to the drug deal to act as a “human shield,” with the belief that the drug dealers would be less likely to resort to violence due to the baby’s presence.
Monroe was apparently trying to use counterfeit money to purchase the drugs, which apparently enraged the drug dealers.
Police found counterfeit money inside the car where the child was shot, and according to police wasn’t the first time Monroe had counterfeit money on him.
“This was not the first incident of Mr. Monroe using counterfeit money, and, in fact some was found in the car that his son was shot in,” Voci said.
Voci continued that the investigation:
“…has led us to believe that he intentionally had his child with him when he was making such types of purchases with the idea or belief that if someone saw that he had a child in the car that they would not fire upon him.”
Voci, referring to Monroe’s use of the child, described it as “a human shield is probably the term I would use.”
Monroe, who also uses the aliases of Nafis and Nyfes, was wanted on a probation warrant at the time of the shooting.
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A spokesman for Yaseem’s mother released this statement to 6-ABC in Philadelphia:
“My son is fighting for his life and it is not fair. He’s innocent, so precious, and his smile will brighten up anyone’s day. He’s such a bubbly kid. So loving and lovable.
How could anyone be so heartless! Please do the right thing and help us find some form of closure or answers in this tragic situation. Help us find the shooter. I can’t eat or sleep.
I need justice for my baby…For the coward who did this to him, you will pay, even if it not today or tomorrow. God will handle you accordingly.”
In a related story, just one day after Yaseem was shot, another horrific shooting occurred in Philadelphia.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Nikolette Rivera, age 2, was killed when someone fired an AK-47 into her house.
Nikolette was shot in the head while her mother held her, dying instantly. Just as with Yaseem’s shooting, Nikolette’s killing centered on drugs.
According to police, while questioning suspects in Nikolette’s shooting, investigators discovered that her father Nikolai was the target of the shooting. The suspects, Freddie Perez and Tayvon Thomas confessed to the shooting, stating it was over a drug dispute.
While giving their statements, investigators discovered a startling fact. The AK-47 they had used to target Nikolai was provided by a man named Francisco Ortiz. This gave police the ability to identify Thomas as the prime suspect in the shooting of Yaseem.
To make matters worse, the murder of Nikolette was probably avoidable, as many such crimes are. Perez had 17 prior arrests, yet was still on the street. .
In Philadelphia, just as in most major cities, punitive gun laws have no effect on criminals, only law-abiding citizens. According to Caterina Roman, an associate professor of criminal justice at Temple University:
“It tells us that there’s a lot more to crime than random shootings. That individuals involved in street crime likely know each other and are connected in some way. That there’s a street scene and a code—people engaged in violence are going to know how to easily get a gun.”
As of this writing, police have still not turned up the gun, or any evidence that Ortiz knew what the AK-47 would be used for, not that it makes a difference since this type of weapon is illegal in Pennsylvania.
For all the headlines that Chicago gets about shootings every day of every week of every year, Philadelphia has issues of its own.
In the same week that Yaseem and Nikolette were shot, a mother shot and killed her children, Damaya and Maxialla Alcindor, a baby and a toddler and a 15 year-old, Zyqueire Echevarria was shot and killed on a street corner in South Philadelphia.
For the week, a total of 10 murder cases ended up on the desks of Philadelphia’s homicide unit. According to USA Today, Philadelphia has recorded 227 homicide victims as of October 21, an increase of 3% over last year.