Police arrested two more suspects Monday in the death of a 1-year-old girl shot Christmas Day while in her mother’s arms.
Charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Maleah Williams at Chapel Hill’s Trinity Court public housing community are:
▪ Ramone Jamarr Alston, 22, who was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force without incident in the 600 block of Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro at about 1:45 p.m. Monday.
▪ Pierre Je Bron Moore, 23, who was arrested after surrendering himself at the Chapel Hill Police Department.
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Also Monday, Chief District Court Judge Joseph Buckner set bail at $650,000 for a third man charged in the shooting incident. Shaquille Oneill Davis faces charges of attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in the drive-by shooting.
The judge also barred him from having any contact with Maleah’s family and from possessing a firearm. Davis didn’t speak at the brief hearing but on Sunday had denied shooting the toddler, as he was taken into custody, according to ABC 11 News.
‘Prayer for Maleah’
Monday morning near the spot at the Trinity Court where Maleah was shot, people had placed stuffed dogs, the Grinch and a couple of Winnie the Poohs and Mickey Mouses.
Above them, hung a white poster with large black letters that said “Prayer for Maleah” and handwritten messages of hope.
“You can pull through this baby girl. God got you!”
“Can’t wait to see your beautiful smile again.”
But Monday afternoon, that hope turned to sorrow as friends and neighbors learned Maleah had died.
“It’s just sad,” said Sonya Hernandez, 45, who lives in Trinity Court. “I know there is nothing worse” than losing a child.
The Joint Fugitive Task Force arrested Davis shortly before noon Sunday in Durham. According to the arrest warrant, Davis lives on Umstead Drive in Chapel Hill, less than a mile from Trinity Court.
He was on probation for resisting an officer and possessing a Schedule IV controlled substance with the intent to sell, according to the state Department of Corrections. He also has convictions for drugs, assault and breaking and entering, records show.
Davis apologized after he was taken into custody, according to ABC 11 News.
“Tylena, I love you. I apologize. I apologize for what happened,” he is shown saying as he is led in handcuffs. “I didn’t do anything to your daughter.”
Erin Leak, who lives at Trinity Court, said Maleah and her mother Tylena Williams, didn’t live in the complex, but visited often. So did Davis, who was a member of the extended community, she said.
Leak, 24, was at her sister’s Trinity Court apartment putting Christmas gifts away when she heard gunshots around 5:30 p.m., she said.
“We just heard gunshots ring out,” said Leak, the mother of a 5-year-old girl. “And I thought ‘My child is outside.’ ”
Leak ran out the door. A group of adults and children were standing in front of the apartment complex. Shots were fired from a car leaving the complex, police said. Trinity Court residents said two people were in the car.
Leak heard a woman screaming and learned Maleah, the youngest child outside, had been hit while in her mother’s arms.
“I looked down and saw blood on her face,” Leak said.
Maleah was taken to N.C. Children’s Hospital, where she had surgery, police reported.
Her family has set up an online fundraiser – gofundme.com/tbgf8buk – to help pay the hospital bills. The campaign had raised $7,130 by 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Leak described Maleah as a bubbly, giggly baby with a “gummy smile.”
“She was the happiest baby you ever met,” Leak said.
Staff writers Mark Schultz and Tammy Grubb.
Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924