THE FATHER of an 11-month-old baby used him as a human shield in a drugs deal which went wrong, leaving the baby with multiple wounds after being shot.
Yazeem Munir Jenkins was wounded in the head, neck and bottom after being shot while inside a vehicle in Philadelphia last month, but his father, Nafes Monroe, 25, did not take the toddler straight to hospital, but to a house.
Authorities say the toddler was in the back seat of a car on October 19, along with Monroe, his stepmother and another man when a gunman opened fire.
Investigators say Monroe had used his son as a human shield to deter a potential upset drug dealer in Hunting Park, north Philadelphia. He had been trying to buy drugs with counterfeit money.
Anthony Voci, head of the District Attorney’s office, said: “He was using counterfeit money to purchase drugs, knowing that counterfeit money is something that is very upsetting to drug dealers, and when they find out that they’re being burned with counterfeit money, they act violently. And this was not the first instance of Mr Monroe using counterfeit money.”
Voci said Monroe used his son as a human shield: “It’s our belief, and our 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.”
He added: “He drove the child to a house rather than taking him to a hospital immediately, then dropped his child off at the hospital and never looked back.”
Monroe was arrested in connection with the shooting and later charged with endangering the welfare of a child and recklessly endangering another person, his son.
The alleged shooter, Francisco Ortiz, 29, has also been arrested and charged with attempted murder and other related offences.
A family spokesperson released this statement to ABC7’s sister station WPVI last month on behalf of Yaseem’s mother: “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.”