A Chicago family was stunned after a young mother was killed by what police determined to be a stray bullet while reading a Bible to her infant daughter.
Melanie Yates, a 23-year-old mother of two living in Zion, Illinois, was struck by a bullet inside her home during an exchange of gunfire outside her home on Sunday, according to Zion police. An ambulance immediately took her to a hospital in critical condition. Yates died the next morning.
"She was with her baby reading a Bible story to her 7-month-old and praying with her," Yates's father Shawn Calderon told WGN-9. "You can see we're struggling with them being traumatized."
According to Lam Calderon, Yates's mother, Yates and her husband David were putting their two daughters to bed when they heard the shooting outside.
"Did you hear those fireworks?" David Yates asked Melanie, Lam Calderon recalled, who said he did not get a response. When David Yates searched the house for his spouse, he found her shot in the head.
Lam Calderon said Melanie Yates died during the ambulance ride but was resuscitated and taken to Vista Medical Center East. After she was removed from life support, her heart continued to beat for a short time afterward.
"[Yates] was so strong for 15 minutes, her heartbeat, and we held her in our arms," Shawn Calderon said.
Police do not believe Yates was the intended target and said they are working with the county Major Crime Task Force to identify the shooters. The investigation is ongoing.
Although the family has not received any new updates on the shooter's identity, they say they're only left with their faith.
"We have the hope and the assurance that [Yates] is in heaven right now with Jesus, and one day, we will see her again," Lam Calderon told ABC7. "That's what we're holding on to."
As of Friday afternoon, the family has raised more than $95,000 on GoFundMe.
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Original Author: Christopher Hutton
Original Location: Mother killed by stray bullet while reading Bible to infant daughter