A three-year-old who was allegedly used as a human shield by his father during a 2019 shooting in Philadelphia died last week, officials in Pennsylvania said.
Yaseem Jenkins was 11 months old when he was shot multiple times during a drug deal that became violent three years ago.
‘We are awaiting a medical examiner’s report on the cause of death, but we have reason to believe the cause of death is his original injury from that shooting,’ said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner during a news conference.
‘I want to express my deepest condolences for the loss of Yaseem to his family. This is a tough moment,’ he added.
The toddler was in the car with his father, Nafes Monroe, and Monroe’s girlfriend at the time of the October 19, 2019 shooting, according to investigators.
Investigators say Monroe brought his son to a drug deal because he was using counterfeit money, and believed that having a baby with him would prevent the transaction from becoming violent.
As the deal was taking place, another man, Francisco Ortiz, fired several shots that hit the baby. He was charged with attempted murder.
The baby was shot in the head, torso and rear of his body, according to He was left in critical condition.
‘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,’ the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office said in 2019.
Monroe was charged with recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded guilty to both counts and is awaiting a trial scheduled for June.
If it’s confirmed that Yaseem died from injuries sustained during the shooting, additional charges could be filed, according to the district attorney.
‘Our office was already prepared for two separate trials involving the man we allege is responsible for shooting him . . . If it should turn out that the medical examiner decides Yaseem’s untimely and unnatural death occurred as a direct result of his injuries from two years ago, we will be prepared to additionally charge Mr Ortiz with murder,’ Krasner said.
The district attorney offered his condolences to the family, and said multiple units have been in contact with Yaseem’s family to offer support and money for funeral expenses.
‘Yaseem fought long and hard to recover from his injuries while still being the strong happy kid he was but sadly lost the battle yesterday morning,’ a GoFundMe set up for the family read.
‘It saddens us to have to lay him to rest at such a young age. Our family is devastated and heartbroken by his unexpected passing.’
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