Mother killed by stray bullet while reading the Bible to her baby daughter

Police do not believe she was the intended target of the shooting

Helen Elfer
Friday 22 October 2021 19:34
Children's March to End Gun Violence held in north Minneapolis

A Chicago mother-of-two was killed by what appears to have been a stray bullet, while she was reading the Bible to her baby daughter at bedtime.

Melanie Yates, 23, and her husband, Daniel, were getting their daughters ready for bed on Saturday evening when a loud bang went off near their home, according to Ms Yates’s mother.

Lam Calderon said her son-in-law called to Ms Yates, asking her whether she heard what he thought were fireworks, but she didn’t respond.

“He looked for her and he found her shot in the head,” Ms Calderon told ABC 7 Chicago.

Around six shots were heard by neighbours near the Yates’s family home and investigators later found shell casings nearby. Police said they do not believe Ms Yates was the intended target of the shooting, but was accidentally hit by a stray bullet.

Paramedics were called to the scene and took Ms Yates to the hospital, where she was put on life support, as Daniel Yates took their two children to her parents and had to tell them what had happened.

“He came in and he told me that our daughter had been shot and we didn’t believe him. It was just unfathomable,” Ms Calderon said.

Ms Yates succumbed to her injures and died on Monday. Ms Calderon said: “The girls aren’t going to know their mom anymore, they’re just going to have a memory.”

Ms Yates’s brother, Stephan Calderon, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help support her family. He wrote on the fundraising page: “Everybody who knew Lanie knows she loved Jesus Christ with every fiber of her being. There is no doubt whatsoever that she is in heaven at this very moment. But we on earth miss her very dearly.”

As of Friday morning, no arrests had been made.