On June 14, 10-month-old Messiah Justice Marshall went on a routine trip with his dad to take out the trash at his apartment complex in southwest Houston, Texas.
Sadly, the Houston Chronicle reports, what should’ve been a mundane household chore took a tragic turn after the 22-year-old dad and his nfant son were approached by three males. The three males got into an argument with the dad.
In a press conference, the Houston Police Department officials said that one of the men pulled out a gun and started “firing indiscriminately” at the dad. The dad has chosen not to be named at this time.
Immediately after hearing the gunshots, the dad ran through the parking lot and tried to flag down a car for help.
He desperately tried to protect the baby, cradling him in his arms as he ran. Unfortunately, young Messiah had been struck.
— Stephanie Whitfield (@KHOUStephanie) June 15, 2017
Neighbor Joshua Levy was driving through the neighborhood when he saw the dad yelling in the street with an injured child. He told the Chronicle:
“He was yelling, ‘Help me. Help me.’ I was kind of shocked. I didn’t know what was going on.”
Then Levy remembered seeing a constable police car from Harris County at a nearby Valero station. He drove to the gas station and found the officer.
Despite the recovery efforts of the responding officer, the baby died in his dad’s arms. Messiah Marshall was pronounced dead at the scene.
— Steve Campion (@SteveABC13) June 15, 2017
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that the three men who killed Marshall were cowards:
“We’re not going to put up with this. Gangsters killing a 10-month-old boy being held by his father, that’s outrageous. And I promise you we are going to come after these people […] You don’t kill a child in front of their parent.”
He vowed that his investigation team would not rest until they found the suspects. Then Chief Acevedo addressed the people involved in criminal activity living in the apartment complex:
“You got our attention. And we’re going to start paying very close attention to [Nob Hill Apartments]. We’re going to turn that place around.”
Chief Acevedo encouraged people to come forward with information to help find the men who had been involved.Screenshot/ABC 13
Messiah Marshall’s mother, Aliyah Scott, was settling in for a nap around 1:30 p.m. when she heard the gunshots. She then ran to the gas station when she heard that there was a baby there:
“His dad ran up to me saying, ‘It was Messiah. It was Messiah.’ All I could say was, ‘What happened to my baby?’ What happened to my baby?'”
Scott told ABC 13 that she wants the three men to turn themselves in:
“Do what you got to do. You know what you did wrong. No need to hide it. You’re going to get God either way. Please, just please go to the police or someone. Let them know what was happening.”
The baby’s grandfather, Willie Mason, told ABC 13 that the whole family had been impacted by the sudden tragedy:
“When you take an innocent life that that, you don’t hurt anybody but the family. Why would you do something like that? It’s just cowardly.”
The family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the funeral costs. At the time of this writing, it had raised more than $5,700 in a day. A family friend, Jawan Wilson, wrote on the page:
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we mourn unexpected and sudden passing of Baby Messiah Justice Marshall. The lord loaned baby Messiah to us for the brief period of 10 months. A beautiful soul was lost. He brought joy and laughter to all. This was such a tragic and suprise [sic] to the family.
Independent Journal Review reached out to Mr. Wilson for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.
Chief Acevado warned residents not to try to take the situation into their own hands. He noted that the suspects are armed and dangerous.
— Courtney Fischer (@CourtneyABC13) June 15, 2017
Anyone with information about the shooting is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. The organization is currently offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.